AliaK's blog

making a dragonscale sample - reverse smocking

I've been making dragonscale (reverse smocking) using Michele Carragher's instructions (she is the game of thrones' embroiderer). I finally got it to work, after unpicking the first few attempts (& realising I've done it on wrong side of the fabric - right side for regular smocking). I'm using this as part of the fabric manipulation topic in assignment 3 work. I'll use this page to add more details and summarise it (with other samples) on the assignment page later.

notes for the pattern:

first attempt - I had only drawn the dots, not the triangles and became a bit lost, so these two didn't work out. I unpicked them and started again.

next time, I drew the triangles as a template onto the fabric also. this helped a lot, and I managed to make it correctly this time

the right side of the fabric - this shows the smocking pattern, but the "dragonscale" uses the other side, so I actually made the whole piece on the wrong side of the fabric. oh well. know for next time.

the wrong side of the fabric - showing the dragonscale. I need to iron/press it to flatten it, though I like the puffy pattern also.

some more progress

etching print class - bee prints

today I went on an etching / print workshop at the ownership project gallery / print room in melbourne. learnt a lot. i made some prints to try different techniques, levels of colour depth, plate cleanup, colours, timings. used one of my bee drawings so I can add them to my theme work. falling in love with printing. you can get some very detailed marks with etching (with practice!)

i'll add more pics / steps later when on the computer

mono / black print

adding colour to sections

ghost print

coloured and hand painted selected colours

understanding contemporary art class

http://www.ooed.org/learn/understanding-contemporary-art-fall-2014 started this week. very interesting so far - speeding through modern art. use chrome if using ipad, safari is broken

i'm making notes in my workbook. might post photos here. I've read you take more in/remember more when handwriting notes than typing. but if i get time i'll try type them up too so i can search later.

week1:

wonky washi bee

I tried making a bee from washi tape, but it turned out a bit wonky. I should have drawn the outline first instead of taping from memory. it was a good exercise in blending colours and creating texture and patterns and shapes though.

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woven eyes

testing some woven eyes for my bees. these have a matte black circular warp threaded into cut fabric (calico in the first test), and shiny black stranded thread for the circular weft, travelling across and around the eye. I used the shiny thread to simulate the shinyness of a bee's eyes, and woven circles to remind of the multiple cells / lenses of the bees' eyes.

I learnt this technique from jude hill on her wonderful "considering weave" class / project

the first one didn't work out as i'd threaded both ways instead of one way only.

but the next sample worked out as I had hoped (seen in my mind) so i was happy about this.

bee sketches for stitching

a few more bee sketches in different media — I'm thinking of trying some of these in stitch (a cross between junko oki's work and jude hills' work such as this circle & the final piece in 'considering weave' — my own interpretation of it) and also as the fabric manipulation exercises for assignment 3. (to save time, and work on theme practice plus exercises at the same time).

basket weave for eyes

plus some other general sketches — I'm also trying to practice sketching things from my day or local area. some are done in a small notebook whilst out and about.

I still haven't separated my theme book from regular sketch book — must work on this. it's just more convenient to put everything into one book..

 

general sketches:

sketching and seeing

i think I've been improving with some of my sketching.. or rather seeing. I think i'm starting to see things differently - the shapes and lines rather than only the overall shape and outline. still a lot of practice to do, and there's still plenty of fails, but when i concentrate more on looking and seeing and not the drawing, I end up being happier with the drawings. something to remember going forwards..

update 22/11/2014: see this later post on draw what you see and not what you know

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bee sketches

i've read ahead a little this time and on the flight tonight started a couple of bee drawing exercises. i have a new lamy (med) pen and it's lovely to sketch with! would like to try the fine & extra fine next too. I only had one sketchbook so I'll need to transfer the pages to my theme book (and hope i didn't wreck it by drawing on both sides of the paper..)

i did a few separate body parts that I'd seen on an amazing closeup photo found whilst googling "bees" images.

this is the original close up photo and bee photo and honeycomb photo. i combined a couple of these in my drawings. i made some notes about how i can see the tests in my head. some black satin, hand stitching, shiny white/clear fabric, fraying for the hairs, woven circles for the eyes, some stitches I think will work for centre cirlce on the back and antannea, plus more. i can see it in my head, so I just need to get it to work in reality now!

via bee portraits - sam droege
— bee google image search. I hope to draw more of his photographs, as they are amazing. the colours!

via can bees be trained to sniff out cancer — bee google image search

via cavity bee — bee google image search

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crazy birds

crazy birds is a tutorial from Carla Sonheim. I tried it tonight. it's a good exercise to help "free up" your drawing and lines. and can be done with kids, as well as adults (kids at heart?)

you start with two pieces of paper. draw circles on one, flower shape / petals on another. cut into quarters and arrange onto the page and draw in the bird shape. use a variety of materials

I think I could try this exercise using fabric also instead of paint

footpath shapes drawings

another exercise I learned from one of Carla Sonheim's classes, is to practice seeing shapes — animals and other things, in the cracks and lines and shadows on the footpath and other places. I think this might be a type of pataphysical drawing exercise too.

collating some of them here — most a "imaginary animals" or "blobimals" as it's fun to draw them, and they seem to be everywhere once you start looking! it's like finding animals in the clouds.

some I've done:

and some shapes I've collected and am yet to draw the "blobimals":
some are obvious, and others less so..

ipad drawings

sometimes I don't have my drawing materials with me so I've started making quick drawings on the ipad. collating them here..

some are freehand scribbles / warm up drawings and others I trace photos on different layers — selecting which lines/details to include in the drawing.

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Assignment 2 - Review

Assignment 2 - Review

My learning log for Assignment 2 is at http://www.explorationsintextiles.com/assignment2 — there are links to the exercises on this page. You can also access the pages via the menus — see Textiles1 - Assignment 2.
Assignment 2 — Review
I enjoyed this assignment and most of the exercises, though I though there was some repetition in the exercises and some of the instructions were a bit ambiguous and unclear. I liked exploring colour and seeing how the colours were created and combined, and being able to reproduce and match colours to other images and objects. I also enjoyed learning more about watercolour painting and how to use watercolour to layer colours to blend them and create new colours. It was good to try many other techniques also and to be encouraged to use different media in some of the exercises to see how they can change the way the image looks, and the feel of the image.

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A2: Proj5 - stage 3 - printing and painting on fabric

A2: Proj5 - stage 3 - printing and painting on fabric

see also previous exercise, printing and painting experiments for other printing and painting work that I did.

painting and printing onto silk:

painting and printing onto calico:

I concentrated mostly on mono printing using the gelli plate for the printing tests on other fabrics. not all of them worked out, which was to be expected, since not all the fabrics were suitable for printing. the cotton based fabrics worked best. the shiny, slippery fabrics didn't work very well - they didn't hold the paint. I left some of the original fabric showing, so I could see what the original fabric was.

a variety of different types of fabric:

A2: Proj4 Stage 3 and Stage 4

A2: Proj4 Stage 3 "Selecting from drawings" and Stage 4 "Developing design ideas"

I combined these two exercises and found new images and drew my versions of them for design ideas.

 
review
did you manage to make space move?
I'm not sure. in some of the drawings I think it did, but in others, it didn't really — some of them are too "flat"

what are your thoughts about the drawings you did in stage 1?
I can see how the eye's attention and focus is drawn around the page by the placement of the black squares on the page. and the use of single versus multiple squares. it highlights the idea of using whitespace, and how to draw focus for the objects.

A2: Proj5 - stage 4 - a larger sample

A2: Proj5 - stage 4 - a larger sample

I created a "single unit" piece based on a motif. the background is mono printed by hand, and there's an image of a stylized face hand drawn using fabric sharpie pens over the top of the background. the image is based on an image by Jim Avignon.

I combined a tribal motif border around the image of the face. I was influenced by a photo of a tribal patterned top that I found on the internet when searching for "tribal patterns". also I was influenced by Hundertvasser with the colours chosen, and brightness of the colours. I'd seen "Hundertwasser's toilets" in Kawa Kawa not far from Auckland, earlier this year, and enjoyed seeing his use of bright colours, and wonky, stylized lines. I'd tried some of his style of work in my sketchbook, and had been using some of the patterns in the final piece in exercises throughout this assignment, so it was a matter of combining them altogether.

 

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