A series of ideas for the larger sample:
|A very bad photo of my sketchbook page of ideas for the non-repeating sample|
I abandoned them all when I did a small version of the pupil on a silver background reflecting the texture of the fabric it was on. The pupil turned out quite deep adn glowing, as I had hoped, but it didn't really look right without the rest of the eye, and I decided to go with a more abstract image.
I chose to go with the larger version of my conker case print for the larger repeating sample.
I wanted it to look autumnal, and to make you wonder what was inside. I thought that making an interesting texture in the background while leaving the centres of the prints untouched would do this best.
The fabric needed to be quite fine to allow the delicate lines of the linocut to come across clearly.
And I needed to pay attention to making the stencils out of robust material and to getting them the right way round.
Once I had chosen the dark green fine cotton for the fabric, I found a magazine advertisement with lovely rust colours on it to copy for the background texture and the outer background of the case.
|I used a stiff square-ended brush to stipple the paint onto the area revealed by the stencil.|
I repeated this with a different colour for the inner circle of the case.
1. Doing a couple of pages of ideas in my sketchbook meant that I quickly worked out what would work, and also what I liked enough to think in more detail about even at that stage. Obviously there are some things that work in pencil and paper that may not work so well in the end, so some try outs are needed before moving on to the big sample.
2. Doing some colour tries on the fabric I'm going to use is important to make sure the combinations really act the way I expect them to. As it was I discovered that the colours look much clearer and brighter on the back of the sample, presumably because they were not subdued by the relative lack of contrast with the background treatment.
3. I like the way the stripes of different colours look on the masking tape. A bit like the colours on the selvage of industrially printed fabric. It makes me want to use that in a piece of fabric that i have painted - a bit like tartan with the contributing colours coming out in various different stripes.
4. Because of the detailed linocut print going on top, I didn't need to be so careful about the stencilling. I could probably have done it all much more quickly with a block print (if only I knew where to find the right stuff to make it out of). I will ask my tutor about this today.
5. I love these colours. I have made a colour bag with them. The rust, dark blue, forest green and mauve go remarkably well together.
6. In this sample the horizontal stripes made by the roller on the background contrasts with the circular shapes. The insubstantial pattern of the background contrasts with the delicate tracery of the linocut pattern, and I think this produces an interesting tension. The colour of the linocut contrasts with the darker richer colour of the rest of it. Those richer colours harmonise with each other. I don't think that the contrast between inside and outside the conker cases is as obvious as I had hoped.
A Single Unit Piece
For this sample I chose to go with the relief 'leaf' print idea, but to use colour as well as the stencils and proximity effects for areas of interest and movement. I realised that it was going to be a dance of leaves, so I went with the seasonal autumn colours again, this time less subdued and more joyful. There is a brittleness to leaves in the autumn, and I wanted to reflect that in the fabric, so I chose a rather stiff but translucent organdie in pale yellow.
Once it was fixed to the printing pad I drew a dancing pattern, influenced by a Japanese painting of a dancing woman with a fan. Then I cut stencils of masking tape in the shape of combs/ half leaves and placed them at the key edges of the shape I had drawn.
Then I dampened the fabric and sponged it with paint in pale shades of yellow and orange.
Once that had dried I began relief printing with various leaf colours. I made the prints close together and therefore highly textured at the edges, and brighter and further apart in the inner part.
Compared to the planning I had done for the repeat sample, I was making most of the decisions about placement and colour as I went along.
|Dancing leaves sample.|
What I learned from doing this sample:
1. I found that the acrylic paint stuck rather thickly to this fabric, so it is palpable, took a long time to dry, and stuck to the iron a little.
2. This sample shows me that I need to think more about colour when I am planning to make things. I still don't have a lot of confidence in using colour, and this is generally the last thing I think about when I'm doing a drawing in my sketchbook. The first sample worked better because I had found something to copy the colours from. Which makes the colour bags a very good idea! And next time I need to remember to do the 3 part study bit of the designing consciously so that I don't miss colour out.
3. In general, I didn't know if I'd have time to do any more than the first larger sample, so I didn't plan this one so thoroughly. And this is what the result is...that it just isn't so effective. I believe that this is at least in part because while there is contrast there is no harmony bringing it all together.
4. Although the yellow fabric is lovely to touch, and makes me think of delicate fragile things, it doesn't go with the heavy printing and wide range of intenisites and tones of colours. It would have been better to try out several different kinds of fabric before starting.
5. I still think this is a good selection of source material for a design. But I think I have yet to use it in a way which makes the most of what i think of as the wormcast texture. Perhaps I should have used a heavier weave and strong colours.
6. In addition, perhaps with this fine fabric a smaller pattern would have been more appropriate.