My first choice for producing an intense focus is “CALM”, and I started to paint a card in similar colours as well as the overall pattern of the region where I planned to place the “focus card”. This painting is fairly equal in its colour scale and hence I felt I wanted to place a focus with its base in the middle darker section. Next step was to embroider the paper card with big spacey stitches, using mustard yellow wool, bright green linen yarns and grey sewing thread in a multi-strand fashion. I followed with threading light yellow green ribbon into base stitches on the card, followed by threading and sewing the green linen yard into the ribbon, that I had twitched at the same time as threading.
Finally I threaded only a couple of black linen threads into the grey, in order to make the impression more intensive.
I think this was perhaps the most successful piece of work. I managed to produce a very obvious focal point both by producing an area both considerably more intense in terms of colour, but in synergy with an obvious corse texture of the card. The variety of the texture of the colour bands adds to the attraction of focus, but still not disturbing the overall calm impression.
My next is “BOLD” which made some problems for me – as it is a really bold painting. I discussed it with my tutor wwho suggested – as one option to place blue and red into the yellow field where I finally placed the focus. However, I still thought a lot of how to design the focus point in order for it to both melt in, but at the same time not. I did several tries with rapidly painted cards – but in the end I went with a yellow coloured card onto which I glued intensely coloured red shiny plastic cut into zig-zag ribbons. Upon the card I placed a smaller card, completely rapped with blue woolen yarn, into which a threaded another red zig-zag band.
It is an obvious demonstration of Itten’s “Contrast of hues”.
I feel I created an obvious focus point – both by texture and by colour, as well as by design. However, I am not quite sure if I think it made the painting look nicer – or more interesting?
My third focus work is “REFLECT” and there I feel I succeeded fairly well. However, if I would redo it, I would have chosen to make an extraordinary extra “thought” in her head, instead of giving her a prominent nose. I did initially select to create a nose, as the underlying pinkish/grayish rbrushstrokes of paint so obviously gave her a nose – and actually eyes already. Studying her a bit closer, the face is more interesting than I initially realized – without the nose.
I started to cut a card in a form which fitted my selected are, and almost covered that card with machine stitches with both a pink thread and a turqoise one. I followed with wrapping and threading a grey yarn with strands of a shiny silvery character with at the same time a very faint pink impression, but also with a couple of wraps with a turquoise mohairy/angora yarn as well as a linen turquoise yarn.I feel I managed to create an intense focal point, created both by colours and texture.
My fourth and last focusing exercise is the painting “WARM” which initially lacked a bit of warmth – my tutor very rightly felt. However, I feel I have succeeded well to create a focus point – which even for me removes the feeling of a general “bleakness”.
I made this focus from fabric, and I managed to find two different shades of yellow – one bright but not very intense clear yellow and one shiny soft gold, three different shades of orange and terra cotta with the orange being very intensive in colour. The qualiteties ranged from sslinky polyester, and shiny polyester to different (I think) acetates.
I crowned the new heel of the sock with sewing a green into stripes – I know my tutor was not qquite happy with the green already in the painting, but I lacked a richness in the impression, which made me add the green even to this piece and I feel it works for me. All over I feel the painting became much more interesting and warmer.
I experimented with putting the piece with the stripes in different directions, and feel it works both ways.
3. Just one colour
This task did not become my best. I was focused on “just one colour” and even though I did look at still life drawings by several great masters; Braque, Matisse and Chagall, the “one colour” stayed in my mind. In order to make it a bit different and with the object to make it more interesting, I arranged my still life on aa piece of fabric – in the same colour, yellow as the objects I was going to paint. I arranged them on the floor and painted it from above. This meant that the bowl, which in reality is a bowl on a rather high stand, became a round shape, and also the bottle of mustard as well as the fairy liquid became round forms.
However – I believe I have illustrated Itten’s law “Contrast of saturation”. The yellow background, I have diluted with white but also mixed with other colours.
I am not very proud of this painting, even if I tried to make it a bit different. I failed with illustrating the shadows and folds of the “floor cloth” and I also feel I did not capture the bananas, nor the gloves very well. I have now listed the lot that I do not feel I managed to do – the balance being all of it. However – I learnt from this exercise – that it is difficult to exact capture the different shades of the same colour – something I learnt the hard way with my different yellows!
I must also say that my tutor’s view of acrylic paints being more difficult to mix into exact colours I felt clearly. (I have now complemented my range of gouache colours).