The idea of this exercise was to analyse how colour and texture have been composed in an image of my choice and for this purpose I decided to photograph a beautiful gladioli bud which was in my garden at the time – the colours and textures were ideal.
The instructions state to concentrate on matching colours carefully and accurately and I initially tried with crayons but did not feel I was able to get the accuracy I required so changed to watercolour paints which were much more successful – both the photograph and this part of the exercise were done outside in the garden in natural light. I matched the colours directly to the photograph but with the bud in front of me too so effectively got the best of both worlds as I was able to see how accurate the colour representation of the image was to the primary source.
The course material then states and suggests using my collection of yarns to match the colours made in my sketchbook but also thinking about representing the textures. The instructions also state about thinking about colours that are next to each other so some colours may be repeated when wound on the strip of card – this I can now see I have not done as there should be some of the greens/blue-greens and pale yellow-greens next to the reds and pale yellowy-creams colours. I do however feel that my colour matches are reasonably accurate as are the textures I was hoping to reproduce – for these textures I used a combination of embroidery silks, pearl threads and also tapestry yarns.
The course material then suggests making at least two further windings on cards using other sources for inspiration.
For my first winding I looked carefully at an orange dahlia in my garden near where I was sat at the time – the colours are more accurate I feel than the gladioli bud except for the variegated pearl thread but I still like it when combined with the other oranges and yellows.
For the textures I matched the threads directly to the flower with the use of the pearl threads to represent the veins on the petals – other threads used are again a variety of embroidery threads and tapestry yarns.
I note in my sketchbook that I have stated that I lack confidence in working out the proportion of colours to each other and this is something I accept that will come with experience. My suggested solution was to possibly try using some clear plastic and marking it with a simple grid that will break down the image of my source into small areas and enable me to identify more closely the aforesaid proportions.
I decided to try another winding based on the colours of the flowers I could see from my bench in the garden – this is the left hand winding in the photograph. My garden is a mix of colours with no specific theme and I decided to concentrate on the main hues rather than the variety of tones. In my sketchbook I note that there is a much stronger colour scheme than I perhaps realise on a day to day basis with a smattering of pastels such as the cream/pink colours of the yarns that recede against the strong greens either side.
As an exercise this is now going to make me look at my garden afresh over the winter months as I consider adding new roses or plants in the spring and it will become a design project in itself with its own sketchbook.
The two right hand windings on the photograph were based on using yarns collected for my theme book and trialing colours and textures to see how they could possibly work together – secondary versions of these windings have been done for my theme book. I have stated in my sketchbook how different the leaf green looks on the far right winding when placed next to the cream and brown yarns and then with the ochre yellow and this reminds me of the colour theory exercises.
Overall as an exercise this has proved much more useful than expected as I can definitely see what part these windings will have in my design work in the future – it is a quick but effective way of seeing how different yarns work together in different combinations as well as textures, proportions and matching colours.