Tuesday, 13 January 2009

January Challenge

No matter what subject we look at to study when we decide to make Art/Design or Craft we have decisions to make. The very first decision that we should make is how to compose our image. Think for a moment what the camera has taught us. It can help to frame your image, this can be done by making a window/viewfinder.

In the picture below I have shown a simple viewfinder that is no bigger than an ATC (Artist Trading Card) I hope that you can see the measurements I have used. The size is not that important but this is a good size to work with. I am also using this size to draw my sketches into, see pictures below. So once you have made this little card window, you can use it to look through and also to draw around to create a box/frame for your thumbnail sketches.

So, now you have made a window/viewfinder (It doesn’t have to be perfect either, it’s only for you to use.)
Don’t worry, if you feel that you can’t draw, tracing is quite acceptable. If you do decide to trace, you will have to make your image slightly bigger, so that your final image is the size of an atc that is, as big as the outside of the frame above. 60mm x 85mm or 2.5 x 3.5 inches

Your subject will be of your choosing, however there will be a theme. This theme will help you to understand two ideas connected with describing a composition. We will look at two words that do this. The first one is Dynamic (this could mean to set an idea of drama in a picture) It often involves diagonal lines, as in the picture below:

Find an image, this is a photo I will be using

Place your viewfinder over the best part of your image that could describe the word dynamic. Here below I have done just this and found diagonal lines in my picture.

Using a frame that I have made by drawing around the outside of my viewfinder I have drawn only the lines that are necessary to describe the idea of dynamic. See the first of the pictures below.

You will only have to choose one of these words, unless you want to do both.

The next word describes rhythm, for this I have chosen an object that I was able to place my viewfinder over. The image below is showing a red cabbage, within this image are wonderfully repeated lines which can be described as a rhythm.

So once again, I have placed my viewfinder over, but in this case I have looked at different possibilities within the image.

Any one of these could produce a really interesting picture, I chose the middle one because I liked the simplicity of the two horizontal thicker lines of the cabbage. Here it is below:
Just to explain why I have asked you to do this, before we go on to what will do with these images, I would like to add, that as artists/designers/craftspeople we have so much choice, even more choice when working with textiles. It is important to start thinking about choice when we make pictures or designs because unless we think about it first, we are not beginning with the best possible chance of a really great piece of work.

Now to the Textile Work:
Ok, so what will be doing with your sketch? Simply this: Make a background that matches the size of your window/viewfinder, in other words the size of an atc. Make this background in any material of your choice. Then using a contrasting thread work the lines of your drawing in a running or backstitch.

To transfer your image:

If you think you may have a problem working these free hand then you can either use your tracing or a fun way to transfer an image onto a flat piece of fabric like cotton is to rub some crayon all over the back of your drawing and placing it over the fabric draw firmly with a sharp pencil to transfer the image. Obviously the crayon has to be a contrasting colour in order to see it. Hopefully your thread will be thick enough to cover these crayon lines.

One last thing that I didn’t mention is that is the orientation of your image. It is up to you whether you use landscape or portrait for your images. Mine above are both landscape. They could have been drawn either way, try your rectangular window either way to see what suits.

So to recap:
* Make viewfinder (Size of an ATC)
* Choose either of the following words

Dynamic (Creating Drama using Diagnols or

Rhythmic (Repeated lines.)

* Find an image that can describe the word you have chosen.
* Place viewfinder over image and find the best view.
* Draw or trace the image.
* Transfer your image on to fabric.
* Using a contrasting thread work over the lines in either running
stitch or backstitch.

If you have any queries or comments about this challenge please do not hesitate to contact me. Best of luck Tricia x


T said...

Great description of the viewfinder and the fingernail sketch Tricia. Thanks for sharing that with me.

When we talked last week about fingernail sketches that I have drawn and used for years, I usually just draw them as very small rough doodly designs. Have never used them with a viewfinder like this, it looks like fun. I am going to give it a go.



Tricks said...

Thanks Teresa,
I should have made a point to mention that this post is part of the Textile Challenge group that I run on Yahoo. I couldn't upload the file there because of the size so I am having to use blogger instead. It is however good because it shows what I am trying to achieve in my own work.
I hope it helps all my other visitors too who are not part of the group. Including you Teresa as I know that you always pop by. Cheers for the encouraging comment, let me know how you get on with your viewfinder. BW Tricia x

Paula Hewitt said...

this was interesting - thanks. I dont really have time to join your group - but i think i will enjoy reading the various posts here.

Tricks said...

Hi Paula,
Yes, do drop by and use anything that you feel would be useful in your work. I hope you enjoy reading these. BW Tricia x

Jackie said...

I think you may have just 'unblocked' me! Thanks.Yay!

Tricks said...

Hi Jackie
Glad to be of assistance. BW Tricia x

art spirit said...

Hi Tricia, I am a member of the group and this looks like a fun and inspiring project. I'm in! Last year my fiber ATC group had an ATC a month challenge and I managed to do it...so I want to give it a go. PS:
I think the ATC size is 2.5" X 3.5".... thanks for setting up this wonderful educational challenge.

CJ Stitching and Blooms said...

Hello Tricia, I look forward to using your instruction to create a 5X7 landscape. Thanks for all the wonderful instructions. I am already learning from your teaching. Hugs Judy

Tricks said...

Hi Mary,
Glad to have you on board, I hope you enjoy taking part. Thanks for putting me right, yes, it is 2.5 x 3.5 inches, I must mention it on the site asap, I'm sure if some are making them a bit too small it won't matter this time around. Cheers I look forward to seeing your work. Bye for now Tricia x

Tricks said...

Hi Judy,
I look forward to seeing your landscape. Bw Tricia x

fontainefleurie said...

Thanks Tricia for this clear explination. Very helpfull. I had read your blog before, I guess it was in the sidebar of Teresa, but lost the adress. Your now at my feedbar, so I won't mis anything nomore. I like the challenge, but I'am also very new with it. I don't know if I can working so tiny like this. But I will give it a try. See you there, greetings Dorie

yvette said...

hoi Tricks, I like this nickname (ok) for Tricia. About the atc's, this will be the first time doing such a thing, and I'm exited about it. See you there!
thank you for organising this thrilling thing!

yvette said...

hoi Tricks, finally I understand I saw you and red (ok? read red red)you lots of time at Teresa's...
I'm not sure if my previous comment arrived.
You're in my favorites as you always was a favorite.

Tricks said...

Hi Dorie, Hi Yvette, so glad to have you both on board, I hope that you will get a lot from the challenges, we are a very friendly group and there are some very talented members amongst us, so I am sure you'll be in good company Best Wishes Tricia x

yvette said...

Tricks..something strange happenend, I put you in my blogroll but not with the correct url so an arabic blog appeared, I'll change it now. Thank yo for you're lovely comment on my blog but I don't exactly what you mean by next month's challenge..today I'll do this month's but how do I post just like that on the yahoo group?

Tricks said...

Hi Yvette,
There is an arabic site with the same title of Let's Create. I suppose you only have to put something in the wrong place and the other one will appear instead.
If you haven't had time to make the January Challenge yet don't worry, you can catch up later. Have fun Tricia x