I started exercise one by experimenting with colour combinations in my colour sketchbook. My two best ideas were ‘fresh’ versus ‘decay’ and ‘warm summers’ versus ‘cold winters’. For ‘fresh’ my colours were primary or secondary and inspired by fruit and vegetables. The ‘decay’ colours were mainly browns developed by mixing the fresh colours with their opposites. I had lots of development ideas for the warm summers versus cold winters, so therefore moved forwards by thinking of more words associated with each of them. I enjoy both seasons, and therefore wanted the winter colours to be quite vibrant and lively like the summer. I spent some time making marks inspired by these words.
I took my most successful marks and used them to develop patterns as below. I wanted the panels to look like dress pattern fabric designs. The colour palette was inspired by Bollywood films as for me they evoke the warm glow of a summer day. Top left I was thinking of lollipops, ice cream cones, parasols and of course the sun. The wavy lines were indicating the relaxed feeling of reading a book in the sun, and the wavy distortions of warm air. The more obvious inspirations are deckchair designs and bunting.
For the top left image here I was thinking of the ‘teeth’ of frostbite, fairisle jumpers and layers of clothes as well as layers of snow. The top right image was inspired by crystals and ice. Bottom left I was thinking about the marks left on the ice when we were changing out of our ice skates on the Rideau canal in Ottawa last year. Bottom right are rows of icicles. I used the silver to emphasise to hard edges and glinting sharpness of ice.
For exercise two I was inspired by this peacock feather in our dining room. I love peacock colours, and for me it reminds me of the End of the Road fesival we go to every year. Peacocks are almost synonymous with this music festival as it is staged at Larmer Tree gardens in North Dorset, and the peacocks roam freely amongst us as we watch the bands.
I have been trying to produce at least one sketch each day, so I paused at this stage to make a colour sketch of the feather using gouache and oil pastel.
I put together my colour bag with direct reference to the feather and an image I found that portayed all the colours I could see in the feather itself. As well as the teal and blue that we usually associate with peacocks, I was keen to reference the olive, pinks and browns that for me are as interesting.