Monday, February 27, 2012

Part Two: Project 3 - Stage 5

Coloured Stitches

Stage 5 links back to Stage 2 of Project 2 and we are asked to use this exercise to explore some colour theory.

I have found some black fabric to use as a background and gone through my threads to choose 2 primary colours to work with.
Selection of threads in primary colours

I decided to work with red and blue threads, as there was a bigger selection of thicknesses and qualities to work with.

I am going to repeat some of the line exercises and will explore the following suggestions:
  • build up solid masses of one colour against the second colour.
  • change the proportions of colour.
  • isolate one colour against a mass of the second colour.
  • alternate the colours in varying proportions.
  • vary the distance between lines so that the background plays a part in making the colours appear to change.
I spent some time thinking about what each of the above suggestions entailed, and realised there was only one way to go.
Just start stitching and see what happens.

Sample 1:
Using 2 strands of blue cotton, I started building up an area of solid blue.
In the most built up area, the crosses of stitches are small, as the crosses became more spread out, the stitches became bigger.
I went on to introduce red, again using 2 strands of cotton. I started off with the larger, spaced apart stitches and gradually worked in to the middle of the built up area of blue.
The stitches became smaller as they moved into the centre.
Red and Blue cross stitches
The blue appears to be lighter and brighter when densely stitched.
The red appears brighter when placed in the middle of the dense stitching, and when placed near to the blue.
The more background fabric that shows, the darker the red and blue appear to be.

Sample 2:
With the line exercises as reference, I worked on the second sample.
I used the red and blue stranded cotton again, and began to stitch lines of chain stitch.
I alternated the lines of colour and the spaces between the lines
Red and Blue lines of chain stitch
When the lines were close together the colours were lighter and brighter.
The colours became darker as the background fabric showed through, almost as if they were a different colour of thread.
The red appears to come forward, the blue to recede.

Sample 3:
I used satin stitch, building up blocks of colour of equal proportion.
The chosen thread was again stranded cotton.
I stitched the blocks in two different directions.
Red and Blue satin stitches
I wished at this stage that the fabric I had chosen, had a more noticeable grain to it, or that I had marked out an area in which to stitch.
This would have made stitching the sample much easier.
Saying that, the sample worked out adequately for its purposes.

The colours were light and bright due to their proximity to each other.
The area of blue appeared to be larger than the area of red, even though they were equal in size.

Sample 4:
I thought I would take note of the suggestion, "build up solid masses of one colour against the second colour".
I also changed the proportions of each colour.

With the stranded cotton I stitched two parallel lines of blanket stitches in red.
I then added satin stitch in blue between the two lines.

I then created the same sample - but changed the placement of the two colours: red in the middle, blue outside.
Red and Blue blanket stitch
This sample is really hard to look at for any length of time, the colours are bright and almost seem to shimmer.
When the red stitches are in the centre they appear to float above the blue stitches.
When the blue stitches are in the centre they appear to sink below the red stitches.

Sample 5:
I decided to put away the stranded cotton and used red Pearsall's silk floss and blue crochet cotton.
Initially, I stitched 2 rows of red stem stitch.
I then added a row of blue stem stitch in between.
On the outside I stitched blue lines around the stem stitch, I added the red lines later.
The centre was completed last: blue lazy daisy stitches, with red lines radiating from the centre.
Red and Blue stem stitch and straight stitch
I really like the way this sample evolved into a type of folk art design.
It was also nice to use the different threads, unfortunately the scanned image does not do justice to the colour and sheen of the silk threads.

I found that the colours were darker when the black background showed through.
The blue stitches seemed to brighten up once the red stitches were placed beside them.

Sample 6:
I started by planning to alternate the colours in varying proportions.
I drew lines on the fabric so that I would have a gauge to follow.
I initially filled each row with long straight stitches using tapestry wool.
Working over the tapestry wool; I stitched crosses in red perle thread and blue crochet cotton until I had covered the background.
Blue and Red cross stitches in Perle threads and crochet cotton
This was another nice sample, it shows clearly the optical illusion that is created when varying the proportions of the colours.
The strips of reds get brighter and more intense, the smaller the strip gets; the blue does the same - the smallest strip of blue is the brightest and deepest in colour.

 All the samples:
The collection of sample stitches

The black background seems to darken the colour of the thread, this is clearly shown in sample 1 and 2.

The colours appear lighter and brighter when stitched heavily over an area, as shown in sample 1.

The colours are brightened up when one colour, red, is placed closely next to another colour, blue; as demonstrated in samples 2, 3 & 4.

When a small strip of red is placed between large strips of blue. The red is deeper in colour and more intense than a large strip of red between 2 small strips of blue, as shown in samples 5 & 6

Before I started this exercise I looked up optical illusions on the internet.
I liked the "after image" example, which reminded me of the exercises in Project 3, Stage 2.
I also liked "colour perception" 1 and 2; these brought home the tricks the mind plays on the eye where colour is concerned.
It was useful to look at these before I started so that I could comment on the way my samples progressed.

Finished page:
Coloured stitches in blue and red

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