Saturday, 23 February 2013

More colour matching

Very inaccurate colour copy of the postcard showing the winner of the

2012: The Gerald Durrell Award for Endangered Species

Kim Wolhuter (South Africa)
Dog days
African wild dogs at Zimbabwe’s Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve
From my sketchbook: 1. Pencil sketch of a section of Dog Days postcard
2. Colour palette in gouache
3. Colour palette with more accurate proportions in yarns
I wanted to capture some of the harsh hardness of the dried mud reflecting the sun, and in the yarns this came out in some metallic yarns being included in the mix.

From my sketchbook: 1. Faint print out of Rowan Marsh
2. Colour palette (of the print out rather than the original) in gouache
3. Colour palette with more accurate proportions in yarns.
I wanted to capture the softness of this image and thus included some chenille, and particularly soft wool mixes. I was surprised to find that unusually for me I did not want to try anything other than knitting and embroidery yarns for these colour matching exercises. On reflection I think that perhaps paper or string might work well for the top one, and for the bottom one something like strips cut from thin fabrics might be even softer.

This exercise showed me:
  • There are many more colours than I initially saw - the virtue of looking and trying to match them. 
  • Doing it in blocks of colour in this way misrepresents it because it does not take into account the relative proportions of the colours. The blues in the top image are much more subtle than they appear in the painted colour section. 
  • Choosing yarns was much easier for me than mixing the colours with paint, because the colours were already there. I have noticed some improvement in my ability to mix colours to match, and more practice will make it easier.
  • Having said that, I can see that mixing the colours first made me really look at them much more carefully and understand the colour relationships more accurately than I would have done if I had gone straight to the yarn stage. For example there are two different 'families' of blues in the second image - sky blues at the back and more greeny blues at the front. I suspect that I would have missed the sky blues if I had not done the gouache exercise first.
  • At the end I re-read the instructions and found the part about winding the yarns on in an order representing the change of proportions through the piece. That would have been useful in analysing both of these images more thoroughly. 

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