I secretly wish I could draw. (Not so secretly now that I'm blogging about it I guess!)
Seeing Renee's adventures in her first year of art school, makes me realize that I don't want it enough to seriously pursue it at this point. (To say nothing of the talent and emotional fortitude that path would require of me.)
I do have a project in mind for spring, a giant nuno-felted wall-hanging for a giant wall in my house.
Before tackling that project, I'd like to beef up my design skills.
I'm hoping this book will help!
I cleared off my studio table enough to get to work with acrylic paint.
The first series of exercises in the book sounded so simple I wasn't even going to blog about them. I thought, "Well, that should take about half an hour and be super easy."
2 attempts and 2 hours later....
My two attempts to draw a value scale with even intervals between colors.
My first attempt (at the bottom of the picture) shows that I had trouble differentiating between some of the middle values.
For that version, I followed the directions, but was bummed to realize that a little bit of black paint goes a long way. It wasn't just a matter of mixing equal parts of black and white like I'd hoped.
The top version looks pretty good toward the light end of the scale, but what is that muddy, all the same value section toward the dark end?
Doing away with thoughts of perfection, I pressed on to the next exercise.
I got to cut out squares of different colors - pictures of clothing fabrics from a catalog.
I tried to approximate the value with my black and white paints. I'd mix a color and see if it fit anywhere. If not, I'd add more paint to see if it would work better.
I was more successful with this exercise. (First, who doesn't love cutting up magazines and looking at colors?)
How do I know I was more successful? A black and white photocopy should come out identical if I successfully matched the value. You can see that I did pretty well with that. (The values in the top and bottom row of the photocopy should be the same when the values are the same.)
The photocopying trick is a good one. I can definitely imagine using it for yarn or fabric - since we've got a scanner attached to our printer. Say I want values that contrast for color and weave. I could just take my two samples, photocopy them and see their values. I could also do something similar taking a photo and using software to turn it black and white.
I'm hoping to do one exercise in this book weekly, so that by spring, when I do my giant wall-hanging, I'll have more design skills than I do today.
Of course, I can't help thinking that designing tapestry, a mosaic backsplash for my stove or a stained glass window would also be easier with better design skills. I've definitely seen a big improvement in my photography skills over the past year, so hopefully with practice I'll see a big improvement in my design skills too!