Sketchbook: Deriving A Textile Pattern From A Collage Detail

In my feedback to Assignment 3, Cari had mentioned that she would like to see a translation of a detail of Collage #2 into an idea for a textile.

p1280354

Detail of Collage #2

I decided to play with the image in Gimp software, applying (and undoing) a variety of filters (I am an absolute beginner with this software, so it is all trial and error!), followed by a tiling filter.

Three digital versions of the collage detail, altered and tiled

I picked acrylic paint to make my simplified version of a potential textile design. The acrylic is opaque and dries quickly, so painting layers of colour in this medium was easier than using watercolour, for example. Also, I felt that the colour saturation was important in translating the colourful original.

A simplified pattern in acrylic paint, with POSCA pen, detail (left) and A3

I have ended up with quite an exotic-looking fabric – perhaps suitable for a Hawaiian shirt or a tablecloth! There is more of the turquoise-blue than in the original, where the green and ultramarine blue predominate. This triadic colour palette leaves little room for the eye to rest, so it might be better with a more muted secondary pattern or background colour. Only a few strokes of dull purple are present as lines on the turquoise areas. (The purple occurred in the digital version, when the ‘make seamless’ filter was applied and the red and blue mixed.) An interesting exercise, and another piece of work to add to my colour file.

Reflection on Formative Feedback for Textiles 1: A Textiles Vocabulary: Assignment 3

Formative Feedback from Cari, my tutor, followed by my reflection.

————————————————————————

Overall Comments

A playful, varied and well-crafted body of work.

Research (including sketchbooks and samples)
Context, reflective thinking, analysis, Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity
Your research throughout this module has been meticulous, from your initial analysis and deconstruction of what the section entailed (detailed in your blog) to your detailed colour mixing and careful crafting of your collages.
You’ve balanced this carefulness with some lovely playfulness. I love your response to ex.3.1, pt.2 where the stripes emerge from the frame of the fabric to meander out towards the viewer.
The yarn wraps are also really enticing – there’s a great range of textural, tactile and surface qualities in the wraps. Fibrous yarns sit next to matte and glossier surfaces, which creates a varied, dynamic aesthetic. You’ve carefully translated the colour proportions of the painting, using both traditional and non-traditional materials.
The accompanying tables where you record the material quality and source of the yarns are great – use a similar approach in future to record the ‘technical’ information, so you have a good technical resource for future inspiration.
Your handling of both the gouache and watercolour is careful and your colour mixing generally very good. It’s interesting to read your comments about the effect of the light on the accuracy of the colour. Your crafting is consistently careful with all media and processes, with your collage studies particularly well crafted.
The collages (ex.3.4) are varied and playful. You have thoughtfully translated shape, form and colour information into the 2D collage. Your use of materials to capture the different surface qualities was particularly pleasing (e.g. the glossy surface of glass compared to matte linearity of yarn). Collage #3 was ambitious but the result is really effective.
I particularly liked your translation of the Bali image into textile samples rather than flat swatches of colour.
You’ve matched the colours in found fabric samples well but they also match more than the colour – the tie-dye and diffuse colour of some samples has a sense of tropical holidays, which fit the exotic plants and acid brights within the image.

Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays
Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis
The blog is consistently well laid out, with a good number of suitably sized and appropriately collaged photos.
You use photography well to capture different aspects of the work, e.g. for collage #2 you zoom in to capture an abstract section of colour and shape, which could be translated into a beautiful textile design.
In your contextual research, you use detailed, descriptive language to critique artists and designers use of colour and demonstrate your understanding of colour theory through appropriate use of key terms, e.g. optical mixing.
Your summary succinctly states what you’ve learnt from each designer/artist. Similarly, your review of the colour palette generators was suitably critical, both the functionality and ease of use.
The learning log clearly details the development of the work, with evaluation of successes and weaknesses. You continue to use descriptive language well to explain what you see and the connotations of colours. (e.g. “The strong contrasts gave the resulting palette quite a dramatic look, with the green and yellow adding a feel of early spring – like glimpses of green shoots and primroses on a grey day.”) Your summaries at the end of each post sum
up the work developed but are most insightful when you reflect on what you’ve learnt, e.g. the importance of tone in the collage section.
Your analysis of the yarns wraps focusses more on the process of creating the wraps and the accuracy of the proportions. I wanted to know what you thought about the overall aesthetic of wrap- how do the proportions of colours work together, do the different textures help or distract from the read of the colour, would the wrap translate effectively into textile designs? For example, I find wrap #2 less pleasing because there is too greater a difference in scale between the flat ribbons, the fibrous cream on the right and the gold braid. In contrast, I find #3 too consistent in scale. Yarn wrap #1, with its varied range of textures and surface qualities pleased my eye far more, there is greater nuance both in colour and surface quality. This is subjective, however, so I wanted to know what you thought about the palettes potential as useable colour palettes.

Feedback on assignment
Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity
Your colour book very simply but crisply presents the best work. You’ve been selective, careful to present only the best work, and the consistent presentation on a white ground means all the focus is on the work itself. The written descriptions are simple and discrete. Your introduction clearly articulates what you’ve learnt and why you’ve chosen these pieces. Well done! I like the cover but I pondered whether the title square could have better reflected the contents by using some aspect of an aesthetic contained within rather than the rainbow palette.
Your written reflection and self-evaluation against the assessment criteria are thorough and critical. I’m really looking forward to seeing how you develop your use of colour in the next two parts.

Suggested reading/viewing
Context
– Here are a couple of artists/designers whose use of colour excites me:
o Sanne Schuurmann, especially her colour magazine:
http://sanneschuurman.com/portfolio_page/color-magazine)
o Margrethe Odgaard, particularly her Color Diary Japan:
http://margretheodgaard.com/work_post/colour-diary-japan/?ref=w
o Raw Color: http://www.rawcolor.nl/welcome/
o You may have seen this 1692 example of a colour book online but it’s worth sending again even if you have 🙂 http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2014/05/color-book/

Pointers for the next assignment
• Reflect on this feedback in your learning log.
• Ensure you reflect on the overall aesthetic / visual read of your work as well as on the technical aspects.
• Continue to develop colour palettes with gouache and watercolour using the methods you have in this module. Reflect on what mood they communicate to the viewer.
————————————————————————–

My reflection on the Formative Feedback, above.

Good

Cari mentioned my thorough research (analysing the course and assignment work on the Learning Log (LL), and in the colour mixing and collage making. A playful approach; enticing qualities in the yarn wraps; good use of technical records; careful handling of paint, and colour mixing generally (!) good. Careful crafting in different media; variety in collage work (especially use of materials linked to surface qualities of source image); selecting appropriate textile samples for an image found in a newspaper.

The LL is well laid out and appropriately illustrated. The contextual research demonstrated understanding of colour theory and learning from the studied artists and designers. Development work is set out and evaluated clearly.

The colour book showed my best work in a simple format, demonstrating good selection skills and consistency in presentation; the introduction and simple labelling were good.

Written reflections and self-evaluation against the criteria were appropriate.

Needs Work

More reflection on what I have learnt in each exercise. For example, yarn wrap exercises concentrated too much on creation and not enough on the overall aesthetic of the wraps (analysis of the proportions, textures, possible translation into textile designs) and potential for using the finished wraps’ colour palettes. Two of the wraps showed too much or too little variation in scale.

The title square logo on the cover was not appropriate to the contents of the colour book.

 

To Do [My updates added in square brackets]

  • Continue to keep technical information tables and samples for future work [ongoing]
  • Translate detail of Collage #2 into a textile design [Textile Design here]
  • Continue to include evaluations and connotations for work (eg colour palettes) [ongoing]
  • Reflect on the learning achieved from each part of the course. [ongoing]
  • Consider the aesthetics, visual read and potential for the work created, as well as strengths/weaknesses. [ongoing]
  • Add some thoughts about the yarn wraps’ potential as useable colour palettes. [edited section added after summary to Yarn Wrap article]
  • Make a new, more appropriate title square and back page logo for the colour book.
  • Develop my use of colour in the next two parts of the course. Continue to make colour palettes in paint for work created. [ongoing]
  • Research Sanne Schuurmann and her colour magazine [Colour Research]
  • Research Margrethe Odgaard and her Color Diary Japan [as above]
  • Study Raw Color [as above]
  • Look at the 1692 colour book [as above]

Coursework Part 3: Exercise 3.4 Collage Studies

Part 2

I selected my first collage with the simple colour scheme as the piece to develop further. I think that it appealed to me because of the simple, hand cut shapes and limited palette –  similar to some pieces I had seen when researching collage.

1 Monochromatic study – black and white

I was looking forward to this exercise, as I am quite fond of black and white images. I decided to use copier paper for the white areas and find finely printed text for the background (light mid tones); bold type and black and white patterned images from magazines for the darker mid tones; and black or black with white text for the darkest tones. Although I did print off a black and white photograph, it was actually easier to discern the tones from the original collage, as it had such a simple palette. I made a sheet of dark and dark mid tone, cut and glued papers, and then cut the shapes for the collage from that. (It occurs to me that this is probably a good method for making ‘patchwork’ textiles that could then be cut into the required shapes before use.)

When I viewed the collage from a distance, my first attempt did not show enough contrast between the lightest tones (background) and light mid tones, so (again referring back to my research into Picasso’s collages) I added some darker patterns to the mid tones, in black pen and outlined some areas that required more definition. The cat cushion ended up wearing sunglasses and had a few white gel pen highlights.

I enjoyed making this piece from recycled magazines and I like the very simple palette. If I was making something similar again, I would make the background paler and more interesting, perhaps by tearing the shapes, or over-painting them. I think that the random placement of the dark and mid tones in the vases, representing fabric scraps and balls of yarn worked quite well, once the pen marks were added to darken the area. And the cat cushion stands out well from the other objects. The cushion (behind the cat cushion!) should have been a bit paler. The words on the objects could be made appropriate to them, if you could find the right text.

2 Single colour study

I selected the dark purple from the original collage to develop into different tones for this piece.

I painted out gouache on cartridge papers in five different tones. Unfortunately, I was running out of the ultramarine blue that I mixed with crimson red (and white or black) to achieve these different tones. Therefore some areas were rather translucent. I decided to use these pieces to my advantage in the glass vases in the collage. I am upgrading the quality of the gouache paints (as I use them up) from ‘student’ to ‘artist’ quality in the hope that I can achieve a flatter, more opaque coverage in future projects.

I quite like the streaky, slightly unmixed look of some of the colours, although, I think that for the purposes of this exercise, they should have been more uniform. The shapes are easier to discern in this collage compared to the last one because of the clearly defined values of the different tones of colour. The monochromatic colour palette gives the piece a unified and restful look. The colour makes me think of twilight, or the composition as seen by night.

3 Multi-coloured study

For this final version of the collage, I decided to use a mixture of found papers, painted papers, scrunched and finely cut papers to add a bit of texture. For the ‘glass’ vases, I used shiny and reflective cellophane. I made a painted background, then prepared each vase and the two cushions as separate elements, before combining them. I experimented first with tearing and cutting the papers. I went with fine cut strips and shapes for the ‘yarn’ vase (seen in the middle of the collage); and a mixture of cut shapes and torn, scrunched tissue paper to represent the fabric scraps in the vase at left of the image. Some smaller details were added to the cat cushion with a white gel pen. I decided to limit the number of colours in the palette that I was using to red, green, blue, orange, light brown and white. I felt that this would give the piece a cohesive look, while allowing for areas of high contrast in tone and hue.

I was quite happy with most of the tones in this piece, apart from the striped cushion, (just seen behind the cat cushion), which I felt could have been a bit duller in colour saturation, and the little scrap of white/light brown painted paper that I included at the bottom left of the vase on the left: it blends too much with shelf colour.

I made an evaluation drawing of the part of this composition that particularly interested me: the cat cushion. This got me thinking about the way in which childhood toys or favourite possessions are like self-portraits. A possible idea for future work?

p1280429

Summary

This was an instructive exercise in getting the tones of the composition correct. I found that the black and white study was the hardest to get right, because I had used such highly patterned papers, and had mis-judged the mid tones. The final piece was, I think, the most successful in representing the objects and had the added interest of different textures.

Coursework Part 3: Exercise 3.4 Collage Studies

Part 1

The first task was to take a photograph of a messy corner of a room, or a cupboard. I had an embarrassment of choices, and took ten or more photos, but managed to narrow it down to three alternatives:-

I have decided to work with the image at top left, showing a cat cushion and two large glass vases: one filled with scraps of fabric, and the other with yarns. This image gives lots of colours and forms to work with. The wardrobe did not give a variety of shapes, and the shelves of ornaments were a little sparsely organised.

I plan to approach the collage making, by first searching out any likely papers in my ‘collection’ and then painting some in gouache to make up the missing colours.

Part 1 of the task requires me to make three collages: one simple; the second with an unusual colour palette; and the third, a complex palette.

For the first, simple collage, I will select a limited palette of five colours and concentrate on the light, medium and dark tones in the image. I uploaded the image into Adobe Color CC and made a custom palette by selecting five colours from the picture.

simple-colour-palette-for-collage

I used gouache to paint the five colours onto white paper, as I did not have any ready-made papers in these colours. I used the reverse of some scrap paper from my wastepaper basket, but as it had a slightly glossy finish, it proved not to be the ideal surface for painting on, and the resulting papers were ‘stripy’.

As this was to be a simple collage, I concentrated on the light and dark tones and kept the shapes fairly simple. The reflections on the vases and some of the fabrics within were the palest areas (represented by the pale, greyish pink); the cat cushion and a few balls of yarn and scraps of fabric were dark (here represented by the dark purple-blue); the rest were in the mid tonal range, so I used the red and khaki green colours to represent them. I retained the paler grey purely for the background. The pieces were cut free-hand with a large pair of scissors.

p1280297

Collage #1

I’m not sure that anyone would guess what this represented, but I think I managed to find the high and low lights in the image, and give some idea of the forms. As mentioned, the coloured paper was too stripy – I’ll remember to use a matt paper another time!

Now to make a version using an ‘unusual’ colour scheme. I thought of exaggerating and changing the colours in Picasa 3 software to see what I could come up with. Using various filters on the image gave some interesting results. These were my three favourites.

I will work with the ‘heat map’ filter image, shown at left, above. I managed to find some bright plain coloured papers to work with, apart from the ultramarine blue, which I will again paint in gouache.

With this collage, I decided to restrict myself to hand torn shapes. I layered the torn green paper over the gouache-painted blue and some turquoise paper that had been scrunched, sanded and holed to distress it. Last came the smaller highlights of yellow, orange and red.

Collage #2

My version is rather ‘primitive’ (for example, the sewn stitching on the cat cushion), but the layered surface with rough-edged, torn shapes was pleasing. The approach of using layering was quite successful, however, ‘distressing’ the turquoise layer did not work very well: I had hoped to achieve a more lacy effect. Possibly even more sanding, or working on wet paper might have worked better.

For the third collage, I will take my tutor’s advice and apply some constraints: the complexity will apply to the colour palette I use, but the shapes used will be limited to squares.

I started by pixelating the image in Picasa and printing off the resulting image twice: one copy as a colour guide, and one to keep track of the pieces I had completed.

p1280370

It didn’t look too tricky at first glance, but when I worked out the number of squares (432) and realised that I would have to find the appropriate colour for each – sourced from magazines, painted samples, and other papers to hand – it did seem rather a daunting task. I decided to just plug away at it, completing the squares at random, as the appropriate colours were found.

Collage #3

There was something satisfying about completing this piece – like finishing a jigsaw puzzle. There were lots of chromatic greys and shades of brown in this piece, so I had to judge, for example, whether a brown was warm or cool, red or purple tinted, light or dark in tone. Some of the found papers had a mix of colours on them, so I sometimes had to decide if the optical mixing was equivalent to the tone in the printed image. Although this was a very time-consuming piece to make, I like the resulting collage. It reminded me of a project I had started (and abandoned!) taken from a hexagonally pixelated image of a landscape, to be made up in hexagonal patchwork. It got as far as cutting out the hexagons and colour matching with the image, but I didn’t have time to sew it all together. I think it intrigues me because it is the ultimate abstraction – removing the obvious forms and leaving the eye to make what it can of the patches of colour, different tones and saturation of the squares.

Summary

As I was completing this task, I found I became better at judging which colours would work just by looking at the palette found in a magazine image, for example. The importance of tone seems especially important, which I see I will be working with again in Part 2 of this exercise.

 

 

 

Coursework Part 3: Exercise 3.3 Watercolour Studies

I selected six glass items, one has a cut-glass decoration, another is a blown-glass ball, with a mixture of green and clear glass. I separated the lid of the carafe from the bottle as it had a nice shape by itself.

artificial-light-variations

The first arrangement is made under artificial light, which I varied from diffuse to close-up. I also varied the background: orange, black, white, light wood, pink, or sky blue. I also tried draping the light with sheer fabrics in blue or purple. The drapes did not seem to make much difference, but did seem to present a fire hazard, so I did not leave the fabric in place. The coloured background could be seen to reflect some of its colour into the arrangement, and gave a soft reflected light of that hue. The close-up artificial light gave stronger contrasts between the very bright reflections and the rest of the colours.

daylight-arrangement

Back in daylight (with a small amount of artificial light) to try rearranging the elements with different backgrounds.

p1280252

I liked this arrangement best: daylight, black & white background, candle votive removed. So this will be my first selection to paint from.

no-1-paint-stripes

#1

The black side to the arrangement threw some stark contrasts into the glass: dark, purplish blacks and greenish blacks. There were also bright white highlights of reflected daylight from the window. A few surprising yellow highlights could be seen – probably from the diffuse artificial light in the room. The main colours were warm chromatic greys. I approached the task by starting with the strong and dark highlights, and then mid and finally light tones.

The strong contrasts gave the resulting palette quite a dramatic look, with the green and yellow adding a feel of early spring – like glimpses of green shoots and primroses on a grey day.

I like the resulting palette, but feel that the green could have done with a touch more blue in the mix.

p1280256no-2-paint-stripes

#2

For the second set-up, I moved the items around, then removed the green glass ball from the arrangement, and replaced it with a clear glass object. The side of the composition was bordered with a bright, coral-coloured board, and instead of daylight, I used strong artificial light.

The whole composition was suffused with soft, pinkish and violet-tinged chromatic greys, with highlights of soft reds and rust, with a few white bright spots, and a surprising touch of greenish grey on one object. I made the stripes taller and less wide, and allowed some mixing and running of the colours. The resulting palette is quite a gentle and warm, analagous selection, were it not for the touch of greenish greys. I’m not naturally attracted to pale, muted colours, but this is quite a pleasant mixture. It reminds me of paintwork on a weathered beach hut at sunset.

p1280259

For the next arrangement, I made a taller composition with natural daylight and diffuse artificial light. The background is a sky blue colour.

stripes-3

#3

The background made a big difference to the colours in the arrangement. The artificial light gave a fairly bright yellow reflection in places. The darkest greys at the edges of the vessels often coincided with the brightest white highlights caused by the daylight. The areas of cut glass and the globular carafe stopper echoed the colour of the background. A very pale, violet-tinted chromatic grey and a mid, warm chromatic grey made up the rest of the palette. I like this palette: soft, summery colours of aqua and yellow, playing off the greys which resemble shadows or rocks.

Here is the palette Adobe CC software made from the painted stripes above, using the ‘muted’ option.

adobe-cc-stripes-3-colour-palette

p1280261

For this composition, I made a flat arrangement of the objects, lit only by the greyish daylight. The background is cream and white.

stripes-4

#4

This arrangement gave little in the way of colour to represent: lots of warm purpleish chromatic greys and reflections from the cream background, with just a few dark points at the rims and thick bases of some of the items. The resulting palette is gentle and muted with little variation in value (apart from the three points of dark grey). It reminds me of a winter sunrise on a cloudy day.

p1280275no-5-stripes

#5

I was aiming for a more dramatic palette with this composition. The background was black and white. I waited until after dark, then lit the arrangement with one artificial light, draped with red fabric. The photograph has made it look much redder than it appeared to the naked eye. The room was very dark, and the composition showed just a few dark black/grey, red, yellow or white highlights and lots of pink-suffused greys. This palette reminded me of a Missoni colour palette, such as found in this dress from their Spring 2017 Collection.

Source:- http://www.missoni.com/experience/us/collection/spring-2017/

Summary

My approach to this task was to try different lighting effects and background colours to achieve variety in the resulting palettes. Each resulting palette was different and interesting in its own way, suggesting colour schemes which might be used in fabric design, or for creating a particular mood in a piece of art work.

Using watercolour gave a nice, translucent look to the palettes, which reflected their origin as a glass arrangement. I liked the way colours mixed and blended in places, creating even more subtle colours.

I could see this work developing into observing and selecting colours from landscapes, or particular photographic images, to use in future art works.

Coursework Part Three: Exercise 3.2 Translation Through Yarn

The image I chose for this Exercise is by the Limbourg Brothers, and is called “The Fall and The Expulsion From Paradise”. I found a useful website that listed lots of Old Master artists that enabled me to explore their work and choose something that appealed to me. The colour palette of the painting, rather than the somewhat misogynistic (even the snake is female in this depiction of the Bible story!) subject matter attracted me.

My first thought was to trawl through what I already had in my yarn, ribbon and thread collections to see possible matches for the project, then buy the missing colours from wherever I could find them.

My approach to the task was to initially concentrate on one colour at a time, for example, all the green threads, yarns, and ribbons, then I slowly pared them down by comparing each item to the image. If there was a perfect match, I set that item aside to use. In some cases, such as with the blue area, nothing was a perfect match, so I tried different combinations of the closest matches to achieve the best outcome.

Some scans of my sketchbook notes:-

When I was happy with my selections, I tried a trial run for the first yarn wrap. I worked with loose, single and combined colours until I was happy with the colour match and proportion, before attaching the final choices to the card.

p1280151

I decided to read across the image, from left to right, simplifying somewhat, but trying to retain the colour relationships in the original, and including some repeated lines of colour, such as for the architectural elements. I decided to cut out much of the cream/beige surround proportion-wise.

The blue was the hardest colour to match, and I tried numerous yarns and threads singly and in combination before finally settling on a mixture of two threads and a yarn for the purple-blue of God’s robe. I was most pleased with the gold braid that I had purchased for the project, as it had the ornate look of the gold architecture in the picture. I also liked the fuzzy yarn that resembled the trees.

Yarn Wrap #1: Detailed Analysis or ‘Everything’ Wrap

I made a record with as much information as I could muster on the different threads used, but, as many were from my own stash, or were bought second-hand, details are limited to a description, source and sample, (as cost, brand and thickness are unknown).

Next, I attempted a simplified palette, with less mixing of fibres, and pulling out just the main perceived colours in the image.

Yarn Wrap #2: Simplified Palette

I used some translucent, sparkly ribbons to represent Adam and Eve’s pale skins, and thicker gold braid in this piece. The red and blue were simplified to a single colour, rather than a mixture as in the previous wrap. Since I only had one original version of the photographic print of the painting (used with Wrap #1, above), I made home printed copies taken from the seller’s website, but, as can be seen, they were far more saturated in colour, so don’t match this and the following wraps as well as the original (from which I worked throughout when selecting palettes). The gold of the architecture now appears as an orangey colour, for example.

I picked a couple of small sample areas for my next two wraps: the first comparing the God and Devil characters in the painting. I separated them with an area of background greenery, made using some soft, velvet ribbon, optically mixed with some plant-dyed embroidery thread. The Devil area was a mixture of grosgrain ribbon and shiny rayon embroidery thread (this combination was the best part of the wrap, in my opinion); God had grosgrain ribbon with yarn, and a bit of white for his beard and gold for his halo.

Yarn Wrap #3: God versus The Devil

A tiny area of the picture, which had assorted shades of brown with a touch of blue caught my attention. The rocks or possibly sand dunes in the picture had variegated grey-browns and warm browns. I managed to find some yarn and threads that had similar colour schemes. I probably should have included more blue to match the proportions in the original.

Yarn Wrap #4: Shades of Brown

For a final challenge, I decided to try to make some fibres, and use ‘found’ materials in the last wrap. A red tape from our tool box, an elastic band, painted and unpainted junk mail paper, strips of twisted and untwisted fabrics all ended up in this piece.

Yarn Wrap #5: Found and Made Media

Summary

Well, I took rather a long time over this exercise: gathering suitable material, trialling colours and finally making the wraps, was a pain-staking business.

Some of the colours (usually those from my own collection or bought second-hand) were entirely used up in the exercise, and might be hard to source again, so I will have to look for similar alternatives if they are needed in a future part of the coursework.

The wraps #1 and #5 were the most enjoyable to make: the first because I felt it most closely matched the original painting, and the last because it involved some improvisation and unusual materials.


Edited 16/01/17 and 17/01/17

My tutor, Cari, in my feedback for this coursework, asked me to think about the potential of the yarn wraps as useable colour palettes, so I am now adding those ideas…

Yarn Wrap #1

The palette of this wrap was rich and soft with triadic primary colours muted a little by the inclusion of creams, browns and soft pinks. The palette has a broad hue range with light to mid saturation and values. This was a pleasing palette that reminds me of the Paul Smith clothing designs that I had seen in my research for this part of the course, so I imagine that it could be translated in that way into knitwear, shirts etc. I can also imagine curtain and furnishing fabrics with the varied textures translated into the textiles.

yarn-wrap-1-tiled

Yarn Wrap #1, tiled

Yarn Wrap #2

I agreed with Cari’s assessment of #2, that it varied too much in terms of the textural range, and it was my least favourite of the five wraps. However, the blue, red and gold of the palette had a military feel. I could imagine them translated into a rather grand velvet textile, with a white translucent ground, such as organza, a secondary pattern of turquoise, cream and green from the palette, with raised, tufted areas of red and blue with gold highlights. Perhaps a textile for furnishing the four poster bed of a Royal palace: slightly vulgar and OTT.

Yarn Wrap #3

As my tutor noted, this wrap was somewhat lacking in variety in the texture department, but I did like the colour palette, particularly the soft velvet sash in a faded teal next to the burnt orange. I could imagine this palette as having potential in accessories such as scarves or evening bags, neck ties and textile jewellery. The textures could include velvet, contrasting with areas of silk and raised stitch, to give a luxurious feel.

Yarn Wrap #4

This wrap contained a preponderance of golden hues and browns with small highlights of blue and red. I think it would make a good palette for a woven textile with a checked pattern, such as a silk tartan to be made into an evening gown or fine wool scarf.

brown-yarn-wrap-check1

Digital Checked Fabric Design

I created this design in PaintShop Pro software, picking five colours from an image of Yarn Wrap #4. Not very subtle, but perhaps suitable in a smaller scale for shirts. It is interesting to note how the overlapping muted pink appears quite different in hue on the grey and yellow (greyer and duller on the yellow): a clear example of colour interaction!

Yarn Wrap #5

The colour palette of this wrap appears soft and gentle with pale hues of toffee, pink, green and teal, but has a touch of ‘poison’ with the complementary hues of red and blue to enliven it. I think that these colours have the potential to work well in a patchwork quilt or as a palette for wall covering or furnishing fabrics with a soft, matt appearance.

References:-

Websites:-

https://www.paulsmith.co.uk

http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/old-masters.htm

Coursework Part 3: Research Point 2: Generating Colour Palettes With Software

Adobe Color CC

This software allows you to create colour palettes from a colour wheel. You can choose to apply a ‘rule’ to your palette to set constraints on what can be chosen (eg, ‘complementary’ or ‘monochromatic’. If a rule is picked, the selection dials hold the relevant pattern (as you choose one colour, the dials will rotate to match your chosen rule). The selection disks on the end of each dial can be moved in and out to vary the tint or shade. Alternatively colours can be ‘tweaked’ by using the sliding indicator bars beneath the selected colour palette, altering the RGB levels and saturation level.

In the example below, I chose to make a ‘custom’ palette based on imagined autumn leaf colours. You have to register with Adobe to save, tag and publish (ie share the palette on Adobe’s Explore section).

adobe-color-cc-autumn-leaves-palette

Another option is to ‘create from image’. You can upload a photograph or scanned image. Five selectors appear on the uploaded image, which can be moved around the image to select the colours you want to appear in your palette. As well as this custom option, you can also select the colour mood: colourful, bright, muted, deep or dark and the programme will automatically pick out relevant colours from your image. These selections can still be altered by dragging the selectors around the image. Hold down the selector to see an enlarged version of the selected area.

I uploaded this image of my socks on the washing line. A delightful subject.

p1260538

This is the palette I came up with using the software.

adobe-color-cc-socks

I found this a fast and easy-to-use programme. Having signed up with Adobe, I now have a small library of my saved palettes or ‘themes’ to refer back to. On the downside, you are limited to a palette of five colours and proportions of colours are not represented.

Adobe have an app called Adobe Capture CC, that I have installed on my mobile phone. With the app you can “create color themes, shapes, brushes and looks…”.

When ‘colors’ is selected, it brings up the same library of my ‘themes’ as saved in the Color CC software, so the programmes are linked and, as the name suggests, it enables you to ‘capture’ elements from your environment with your mobile phone camera and manipulate and save them for future use. It could be quite useful for saving inspiring colours, patterns and textures when out and about.

MudCube Colour Sphere

This programme has options for limiting your palette:-

  • ‘Harmony’ (pick from ten options including:- neutrals, clash, five-tone, six-tone etc, which all seem self-explanatory).
  • ‘Vision’ (nine options including:- Protanopia, Deuteranomaly, Achromatomaly. These all seem to be linked to medical conditions where, for example, Protanomaly is “deficient color vision in which an abnormally large proportion of red is required to match the spectrum” (quotation source:- http://www.merriam-webster.com/medical/protanomaly), so for that example, the palette generated will be lacking in red.
  • ‘Quantize’ (Spectrum, Websmart, Websafe are the options, limiting the range of colours you can pick from to fewer and fewer colour variations).

Sliders allow you to alter the hue, saturation, luminance (value) and RGB (additive colours, used in many monitors, for example) or RYB (subtractive colours, used when mixing paints, for example).

Hex numbers are generated for the selected colours, which enables exact reproduction of the selected colours. (Hex numbers contain six digits indicating the intensity of red, green and blue in any colour, from #000000 for black up to #FFFFFF for white).

mudcube-six-tone-palette

Here is a six-tone palette generated using the programme.

This felt like a more professional programme to use, with more flexibility and up to six colours in a palette possible. You can save any palette you make to one of three software packages (Illustrator, Photoshop or Palette Creator (colRD), or save the URL for future reference.) On the downside, you can’t import an existing image and the multiple options make it more complicated to use than the Adobe programme.

ColRD

The ‘Discover’ section of this website has images and colour palettes, single colours, gradients and patterns shared by its users under the Creative Commons licence (ie anyone can use the items for any reason). Other users can save the shared palettes to their own collections.

colrd-screenshot

This rather bilious palette was made using colRD. One nice feature is that, when you select a colour from your palette, the programme suggests other similar colours that you could swap for it (seen at bottom right of the screenshots).

colrd-gradient

Here is a gradient palette, also from colRD.

To date I have been unable to get a validation email for this site, despite numerous attempts over two days, and signing up with two different email addresses. Another problem (possibly caused by my slow internet connection) is that when I try to import one of my own images, the website immediately tries to upload my entire library of Picasa images, which is enormous, and it fails to complete and I would not want to upload all my images in any case. So it has been a very frustrating experience trying to use this software, and I would not return to it unless the coursework requires it.

Colordot by Hailpixel

This simple software allows you to build a palette on your monitor screen (or an iPhone). You select colours by moving your cursor from side to side to select a hue; up and down to select a value; and by scrolling to select the saturation level.

Click on a colour to save it to your palette, at which stage you can delete it or fine tune it using RGB or HSL parameters. (HSL stands for hue/saturation/lightness (value) and it uses cylindrical co-ordinates to represent RGB  points within the cylinder. The link takes you to Wikipedia’s explanatory diagram. It is also noted that the colour renditions are device-dependent and can therefore vary between devices, which is a potential problem area when you require a precise colour rendition. HSL is used in computer graphics.)

colordot-a-color-picker-for-humans-google-chrome-06112016-133803

I managed to form a large palette using this software, captured in a screenshot, above. I was not clear on how to (or if it was possible to) export the palette, but it can be saved as a url. On the plus side, this software is easy to use and allows a large palette to be selected and saved.

Color Hunter

This simple-to-use programme allows you to upload an image and it automatically generates a five colour palette (with Hex codes) from your image (example shown at left, below, taken from an uploaded image of autumn trees with a blue sky). You can toggle your palette between vibrant and dull settings, and save it to your favourites, if you sign up with the company.

Another alternative is to search for any terms you like, and the software searches Flickr users’ images to find matching terms. From these images, numerous palettes are generated. The example shown at right, above, was generated with the search ‘Derwentwater Keswick’ and ran to seven pages of alternatives.

This software was fun to use, but somewhat limited in usefulness. You can’t alter the palette generated or choose which colours it picks from the image. The site is covered in adverts, which some may find irritating.

Colourlovers.com allows users to generate palettes (using a basic or advanced interface), patterns, colours, palettes from uploaded images, etc, and has a forum for sharing and discussions.

The palette generators looked useful and there are examples of patterns made by other users to browse.

browse-patterns-colourlovers-google-chrome-06112016-145757

This site, although it has some useful tools, felt a little commercialised, with some users uploading adverts to generate palettes from, for example.

Paint Shop Pro 8

I have this software on my pc, and used it to select a palette from an image taken from a Hiroshige woodblock print “The Naruto Whirlpool” First I made a set of empty squares, then I opened the image, and used the ‘dropper’ tool to select colours from the image and then used ‘flood fill’ to add them to the second file of blank squares.

Hiroshige image source:- http://gurafiku.tumblr.com/post/380495545/japanese-art-ukiyo-e-whirlpool-ichiryusai

It was a painstaking task and is now performed more quickly with the online programmes discussed above, which will also keep a note of the Hex codes in some cases.

Potential Problems and Solutions

The potential problem with using additive (on screen) compared to subtractive (printed or painted) colour selections was highlighted for me by printing the images above. The printed results, gave far brighter (more saturated) colours than appear on screen. It is therefore important to know how your palette will be reproduced and used. Will it be on a website, or printed onto a textile, for example? Trials and adjustments would need to be made to ensure consistency. There are websites such as Rapid Tables that give conversions between different colour notation systems. Differences can also occur between devices with their differing ways of handling colour.

Another factor is the perception of colour by each individual – the journey between the eyes’ receptors and the brain add another layer of filtering to the perceived colour.

Pantone Color Institute helps companies with colour trend forecasting, brand colour development, etc, and they produce colour standards and colour guides to ensure consistency (paid for services).

Summary

Of the online resources that I have tried, I will return to Adobe Color CC and Mudcube Colour Sphere because they offer the most logical interfaces and useful outcomes.

References:-

Books:-

Hornung, D. (2012) Colour: A workshop for artists and designers. 2nd edn. London: Laurence King Publishing.

Websites:-

https://color.adobe.com/create/color-wheel/ Accessed 04/11/16

https://color.hailpixel.com/ Accessed 06/11/16

http://www.colorhunter.com/ Accessed 06/11/16

http://www.colourlovers.com/ Accessed 06/11/16

http://colrd.com/ Accessed 05/11/16 and 06/11/16

https://helpx.adobe.com/mobile-apps/how-to/capture-color-theme.html Accessed 04/11/16

http://htmlcolorcodes.com/ Accessed 05/11/16

http://www.merriam-webster.com Accessed 05/11/16

http://www.pantone.com/ Accessed 06/11/16

http://www.paintshoppro.com Accessed 06/11/16

http://www.rapidtables.com/convert/color/rgb-to-cmyk.htm Accessed 06/11/16

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HSL_and_HSV Accessed 06/11/16