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My journey studying for the City & Guilds Level 3 Certificate in Embroidery

rainbow

Playing with colours

The three main tasks in chapter 1 are doing my research, sketching and drawings based on my research and creating a colour circle using paints. I have done sketches and the colour circle but as I am re-visiting the sketches following initial feedback from our tutor Siân, here is the 3rd task, my colour circle.

My first hurdle was finding paints as I knew I had some “somewhere safe”. The first lot I found were some old craft paints that belonged to my late mother. Once I got the tops off the paint looked quite OK but a bit thick. The first trial proved that the paints were oil based, and didn’t thin with water. However a bit of mixing with medium thinned them out nicely.

Mixing colours with oil paints was very frustrating, given that I haven’t touched a paint brush for decades. I did get some nice shades on my test sheets, but seemed to get far more paint on my fingers, clothes, table …  So I cleaned up and put the craft paints away for some other day. Further rummaging unearthed some gouache, as specified in the instructions.

colour tests

chap1.3 test swatches for mixing colours

I love water-based paints, so easy to mix and play with. Here are my test sheets, the gouache sheet is on the right with handwritten notes about my recipes (ahem) to get the various hues, tints and shades. The pages are A4 sized.

The colour wheel had to be achieved by using just the primary colours with black and white.  The few shades I did manage to work out using the oil craft paint are on the left. Although the pigments were difficult to work with the resulting colours are much more intense and luminous than the gouache. Maybe one day I will attempt to use them again.

And finally, my colour wheel on it’s A4 sheet…

colour circle

chap1.4 Colour circle painted with gouache

I have had fun doing this exercise. Initially I was a little apprehensive, as I’m a “stitcher” not a “painter” and I was afraid of wobbly lines and splotches. The exercise has got me over my fear of a paint brush, I’ve re-discovered just how much fun splashing pigment on paper is and I’ve really come to appreciate the subtle differences in colours.

My only concern is that in real life there is a lot more difference between my red, red-orange and orange that what appears in the digital image.

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