Exercise 1 – Combining textures and colour effects
Within the parameters of what we were to do I decided to take a vibrant yellow fabric as my base and see what effect it had on different red threads I picked to stitch with. I chose red silk ribbon, Perle 5, knitting wool and sparkly synthetic ‘hairy’ yarn. I looked for a variety of reds, some towards the tomato end of the scale and others moving towards mulberry.
Well !!! Just look what has happened to my yellow fabric. I thought I was going crazy when all I could see was a slime green base with medium light red stitching so I asked my husband to tell me what colour he would use to describe my background. He came right up to it and exclaimed ‘goose-sh*t green’. Not bad for a Frenchman !!
Anyway, no matter how many times I’ve photographed it, whatever light source I’ve put it in it always comes out this colour. Granted, the photo has made it look even more green but it’s not too far away from what I’m seeing with my own eyes. The reds have diluted and seem to have absorbed much of the light from the yellow. Looking closely at the various stitched areas I can see that the quite pronounced differences in their red base have lessened dramatically and they look much more similar than when they are placed individually on a white background. Wow, I had anticipated that because there was much more yellow background than red stitching the red would look more orange and the vibrancy of the yellow would be maintained. Exactly the reverse has happened.
I then mingled in blue threads to see if I could get the illusion of purple, the complimentary to yellow. I’ve done large French knots in a grid using several different reds but only one blue, small single wrap knots and then large loose silk ribbon knots using both ribbons together in the one needle. From pointillism I’ve done in the past I know that to get a good colour mix effect you need to make the dots small, abundant and very closely packed. I’m not sure I’m really seeing this happening a lot here so I decided to play with the most detailed sample on my computer program and see if I could improve the illusion. Not part of the course I know, but a bit of fun all the same. The background colour has remained dull and greenish.
As you can see, some techniques colour mix better than others and I get the purple effect I was looking for whilst others, particularly twirl, mosaic and pointillize tend to keep them separated. I suppose spatter could be described as a very, very fine pointillization and that has demonstrated that if you want to get good colour mixed effects in stitch you must do tiny, tiny dense stitching.
Below is a small sample of painted pointillism I’ve done in the past.