Playing with perspective

So I had a go at doing a cityscape with perspective.  Two-point perspective, to be precise. This required a crash course on 1, 2 and 3 point perspective, a quick practice using pencil, paper and an eraser (mostly the latter), then firing up Adobe Illustrator and wrangling with the perspective grid, which, once you figure out how it works, makes things fairly quick and easy – until that point, you are better of with pencil and paper.  Anyway, technically I am happy as the perspective is spot on. I even added windows, each of which has to be drawn separately, to get the correct perspective.

However, I made a number of design mistakes.  There isn’t enough contrast in the fabrics so the two buildings on the lower left merge into each other, and the windows on the big building on the left are barely visible.  I should have carried the buildings right to the edge of the picture frame, as now it looks like a small island floating in a green sea (which is NOT what I intended).  I also need to include more buildings, particularly in the background, to make it look more high density.  I also want to play around with the horizon line – I want to drop it much lower to get the feel of looking up at the buildings more.  Anyway, lots to be going on with.

The centre panel is 8 x 8 inches and I added border with a view to making a little 12 x 12 quilt, but as I don’t really like it I won’t bother finishing it off. It has served its purpose as a valuable learning exercise.


Colours of summer

On my trips to the local shops I always pass these wonderful displays of red hot pokers and agapanthus – they are growing wild on the reserve above one of the local coves.  I keep meaning to stop and photograph them, so on my way back from the hairdresser this morning, I did just that. 

I love the colour of agapanthus – in Victoria they are a declared noxious weed – but here, they seem to be everywhere (I guess that is what noxious weeds do!). Shame to call something so pretty noxious.

colour and design play with photoshop

I am continuing – slowly – to work my way through my Photoshop course. I am looking forward to doing Liz Berg’s online design class, which starts on 21 Jan, and in preparation was going through some of the abstract design exercises in recent editions of Quilting Arts magazine. Combined with this was the spooky experience of second guessing Sharon Bs colour scheme for her Take it further challenge, and it all came together in a session playing in Photoshop.

I decided to use the colour scheme chosen by Sharon for the TIF challenge and playing with it using simple shapes in PS. You can replicate the colours from Sharon’s sample exactly by typing in the number at the top left hand side of each colour into the # box in the colour picker window of PS (to open the colour picker, just click on the foreground colour square towards the bottom of the main toolbar). Then create a document with a shape for each colour and save it as your reference. When you want to do some design work, or just play around seeing the effect of using different proportions of the colours in a design, open a new document and have your original which has a sample of each colour open alongside. Use the eye dropper tool to touch the colour you want from the original and that will set the foreground colour in your colour picker to that colour. Then just play with whichever tool you want to create shapes and fill them with the desired colour/s.

Here I just used the rectangular and ellipse marquee tools to create shapes in the different colours, on a textured background. No great design principles at play here!

Next I had a go at creating unity through proximity.

In this one I wanted to create a sense of movement, with the triangular shapes falling across the page. I also played with transparency with the pale yellow overlays. You can do this by varying the opacity.

The very first image I made using the rectangular marquee tool, then hit it with a filter to distort the shapes and make them more organic – I also used a gradient filter for the background. BTW all of this can be done even if you only have Photoshop elements (I tried it on version 2, which is pretty old!). I don’t know why, but I feel more comfortable doing these sort of design exercises on the computer, rather than with real fabric bits. I guess I don’t feel that I am ‘wasting’ fabricd – and I can always hit the ‘undo’ button. I also don’t flatter myself that any of these are great examples of design! But as I said in my New Year’s Eve post, I am resolved to follow Rayna Gillman’s advice to accept the crap quota – so the more I do, the better I will get.

DISCLAIMER: Warning – playing in Photoshop can be a serious timewaster – don’t blame me if you don’t get the laundry done and dinner is late!

Balloons and colours

It was my daughter’s birthday last week (on Mother’s Day actually – we had a joint celebration). Some of her friends sent her a bunch of balloons. I was idly looking at them the other day and realised they formed a sort of colour wheel. There was some brightly coloured cellophane with them, which is the type that melts well. I cut a piece and folded it over on itself then ironed it between parchment. It melted up nicely. I put a piece of dark fabric behind it for the scan to show up the holes. The balloons have taken on the look of melted crayons. Not sure what I will do with this – maybe an ATC or postcard, with some stitching?

I may be going crazy

Well dear reader – flushed with success at my first post, I tried a second today and disaster struck. I won’t bore you with the details, but suffice to say that I have spent many hours trawling through Google help (without success), as my blog ‘disappeared’. In despair, I created a new one, and thought all would be well, but little did I know…the same thing happened.

I was about to give up on blogging, deciding it was clearly way too complicated, when miraculously, both blogs appeared again, and (as far as I can tell), are now going to let me post further messages.

So, here goes – this will be the third time today I have tried posting this message, or a variation of it, on two different blogs. If this doesn’t work, I really am giving up!

This is a bundle of fabric samples that I carefully unpicked from some sample cards I bought more than 10 years ago – those were the days before Internet shopping, when you sent away for actual samples of things – imagine!!

I decided I could put these to good use doing some colour exercises, like the ones I did in Module 1 of Dale Rollerson’s Playways – check out The Thread Studio website for more info.

I also plan on maybe using some in the Journal quilts I intend doing during 2007 – more on that later.

In preparation for Take a Stitich Tuesday on Sharon Boggin’s website, I have been sorting through my fabrics and threads, and found these two pieces

They were ‘play’ pieces using a variety of stitches to create texture. I quite like them.

Alright – the moment of truth – I will try and publish this and see where it ends up. Wish me luck.