Sunday, August 2, 2015

Colour class with Jane Davies, Weeks 1 & 2

Jane Davies' on-line class, "Unlocking the Secrets of Color", has begun. There will be six weekly lessons, and the first class was all about "hue". Each class is accompanied by a set of explanatory notes and a brief video, showing Jane demonstrating the assignment.

Working with acrylic paint, we learned that yellow + blue do not always make a nice clean green. If you choose ultramarine as your primary blue, then you'll get an olive green. And if you choose phthalo blue to mix with red, expecting to get purple, you might get a disappointing "raisin"colour instead.

So, our first assignment was to use various primaries to make four different colour wheels. The objective was to get a nice transition from one colour to the next. I am learning to mix my blues with glazing medium, because otherwise they are so strong and dark that you can barely discern the hue.

Our next assignment was to make four colour grids. We could choose to use all 12 of the colours on the wheel, or we could opt for fewer. We could make a nice, regular grid of squares and rectangles, or we could skew it. We could vary the sizes of the squares and rectangles, or not. All the while, we were to think about our choices, and ask ourselves which makes for a better composition. Are there certain colours we're not comfortable with? Which two colours provide the greatest contrast? The least?

Grid #1, using 11 of the 12 colours available

Grid #2, using 5 colours, grid made of horizontals and verticals

Grid #3, using 5 colours, grid slightly skewed

Grid #4, using 6 colours
An interesting exercise. As always, it's intriguing to see how the other students respond to the assignments, and to read Jane's comments on all the work.

Our assignment for Week 2 was to make a colour wheel by collaging magazine clippings, gift wrap, tissue paper, and other miscellaneous scraps of coloured paper. I decided to go straight to my extensive fabric collection, cutting out squares and fusing them onto cotton.  The objective was not to have 12 separate colour swatches, but a continuum from one colour to the next.

colour wheel made of fabric scraps, fused onto cotton

We were also assigned a single-colour collage, and again I opted to use cloth scraps, stitching them into place. I chose to work with green, going for the full range from yellow-green to blue-green, light, dark, and greyed. This was a fun exercise on a small scale (5 x 7).  I think any of these assignments would be a good activity for my text'art group at one of our monthly meetings.

colour grid using rectangles of green: light, dark, and greyed variations
ranging from blue-green through to yellow-green.


Dianne Robinson said...

Looks like a great class Heather. And a series of exercises for Text'art would be great.

Maggi said...

I often look at Jane's classes and think they would translate into fabric - you have proved that they do.