Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Elements of Design - Value

The Waverley Art Quilters have been studying the Elements of Design using the book by Sandra Meech called Connecting Design to Stitch.

This month we were looking at Value.

Most people know the saying that colour gets all the credit but value does all the work.

When I told my family that we were studying value in Art Quilters this month they thought we were talking about how much our quilts are worth!

Value is the amount of light, medium or dark in a colour. Most fabrics we can buy are medium tones, there are not a lot of very dark or very light colours available.

The difference between a nice art quilt and a stunning one is usually down to value. You can be assured that the stunning quilt  has lots of really dark fabrics and some extra light fabrics.

I took photos of some of my quilts and converted them to black and white and it became obvious that some of them were lacking in value contrast and they could have been improved.

I got out my black, white and grey fabric and tried to sort them in value order.

I actually swapped the bottom 2nd and 3rd fabric but didn't take a photo of it.

I drew up a little composition using a Seahorse as the focal point and fused the shapes onto a grey background fabric.

I decided to attach the pieces and do the quilting at the same time seeing as it is only an exercise in value. Usually I sew down all the shapes and add embroidery and embellishment before I start the quilting.

I was happy with my little Seahorse when it was quilted.

The more I looked at it the more I thought that the Seahorse blended into the background a bit too much. I started to think about value again and wondered what the composition would look like if I changed the values.

It didn't take long to make up another one.

I liked the second one much better; the dark value made the Seahorse the obvious focal point. When working out the values for the first one I was influenced too much by what I thought the colours in the composition represented. I thought that rocks would be darker than a yellow Seahorse.

In the second composition I didn't think about what colour the shapes were, I only thought in lights, mediums and dark. It was a valuable lesson.
I think that I need to do another value study with the background as the darkest value because dark colours recede and I need to show more depth as I learned at the Fibre Forum Winter School.

Time and time again, I read about something and assume that I understand it all but it is only by doing the work that I truly understand.

Bye for now,

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