Q: Were you able to mix and match colours accurately?
A: I think I did quite a good job of it. It took much longer than I thought it would to get some of them right, especially the purples. They seemed to come out either too pink or too brown. I had to refer to some of my colour mixing text books to see where I was going wrong, but then that’s what I bought them for. Until I have a more intuitive feel for mixing paints the books will be a great help.
Q: Were you able to use colour expressively?
A: I find this much easier in thread and stitch rather than in paint. A large part of this is that I have a big stash of textile materials and can see the colours I want immediately unlike paints where I have to mix up the colour I want most of the time and it’s much harder to produce in reality exactly what I’m seeing in my mind.
I can cast my eye over my array of threads, some home dyed, some commercially dyed and others from professional hand dyers and see that I have many, many colours at my disposal. I know what I want when I see it but with paints I can’t always achieve it.
Q: Can you now see colour rather than accepting what you think you see?
A: Yes. I previously wrote that I’ve been watching children’s animated shows and this alone has shown me how cartoonists make flat drawings appear 3D with shading and line work to indicate creases and movement. I specifically took on board the colours they used to create these effects. Having done this I found it helped a lot when we had to take our own still life items (Project 3 – Stage 3 – Exercise 4) and reproduce the colours. My judgement was far better than it would have been 2 months ago. Having gone through all the exercises required I’m much more aware of what I’m seeing.
Q: Did you prefer working with watercolours or gouache paints? What was the difference?
A: I don’t have watercolour paints. I have been trying out gouache, various brands of acrylics, printing inks, alcohol inks and Inktense pencils. Out of everything I have I prefer the gouache – on paper. It seems to cover paper well, it doesn’t appear heavy or streaky. The colours are crisp and clean. They mix extremely well and clean up afterwards is easy. I find these much easier to colour mix than acrylic paint which seems thicker, heavier coating and duller. Maybe I just need to water the acrylics down more.
Q: How successful were the colour exercises in Stage 5? How did they compare to the painting exercises?
A: In my world everything is easier and more effective in stitch rather than paint. I enjoy it more, I definitely have more of a feel for colour in stitch. Even in this case where I found my colour scheme harsh it still held my interest and I wanted to try out different yellows and blues until I could see some effects.
Q: Is there anything you would like to change or develop?
A: I have to get more comfortable with painting. I notice those exercises take me longer than the stitched ones and I find them more arduous. This is inexperience and apprehension in my painting ability showing through here.