I have now completed my final sample for stage 6, exercise 2 of this project. I hope that I have managed to convey the way in which the light moves from one shade to the other, interrupted by the shapes in the glass. I initially stitched the piece referring back to my initial pastel shade interpretation of my sketchbook work, and later finished the piece without referring back, trying to keep the original glass in mind.
Were you able to mix and match colours accurately?
I expected to find this exercise quite difficult as it is an area that I have struggled with when painting and selecting fabrics and threads in the past. I felt I learnt a lot by producing the colour wheels in various media and experimenting with tints, tones, shades and mixing opposites. I find myself referring back to them a lot in later exercises. Trying to match colours from images and fabric was really challenging, but I think I achieved what was expected in the end.
Were you able to use colour expressively?
I was pleased with the work I produced in this section, but find myself heavily influenced by cultural and societal ideas of what different colours represent. I explored the idea of how cool colours recede and warm colours stand out, which was a real revelation. Whilst visiting the Ferens Art Gallery in Hull this week, I looked at portraits by Arthur Gaskin and Alfred Wolmark who both used vibrant colours backgrounds, and was surprised by the effect on how the sitter appears.
Can you now see colour rather than accepting what you think you can see?
The painting of objects on a coloured background was really interesting and I have found I am looking at the world very differently now. Impressionist still life paintings have never looked so true to life. A documentary on Hockney this week where he talked a lot about light and really looking properly was very relevant.
Did you prefer working with gouache or watercolour paints? What was the difference?
I prefer working with gouache as the colours stay truer, opaque on dilution and do not seperate on drying. The granulation of watercolours and their translucency is useful where you want to exploit the unpredictable nature of the paint or for building up layers in sketching. I enjoy the process of painting thickly with paint, moulding and speading it in an expressive way. I enjoy oil paints for this but much prefer gouache as it dries so quickly.
How successful were the colour exercises in Stage 5? How did they compare to the painting exercises?
I was surprised with how much direction of stitch affected the colour of each thread, and enjoyed exploring all the variables. Despite not setting out with a plan, I tend to produce rather stiff organised samplers. I approached all of the exercises in this project in a very methodical and scientific way, but found the results pleasing and useful to refer back to.
Is there anything you would like to change or develop?
I am contining to keep a record of exciting colour combinations and ideas on colour themes in my colour sketchbook, and have learnt an appreciation of light and colour that I think has changed the way I view things forever.