Sunday, 11 September 2011

Module 2. Chapter 1. The study of tone

I made a series of 10 tonal columns plus 3 mixed media columns using an assortment of media all in black and white and ranging from Indian Ink, permanent marker, charcoal, torn and cut papers, white acrylic paint etc.

I’ve rolled, scribbled, torn/ cut and stuck with newspaper and photocopies, printed, stippled, made a  rubbing.











I’m really pleased with the effect of the roller and black ink  [1] which left a beautiful soft effect which I feel was probably due to the absorbency of the cartridge paper [I remember the effects I noted in the first module when printing on different types of papers]. I also love the fading after several applications.

I’ve also been surprised by the effects of the charcoal [2, 4,] -both black and white -and the stark contrasts they give either when used alone or in addition to other media to deepen/lighten a tone.

Cutting /  tearing papers [ 2, 4 & 5]or printing with card [2] has always intrigued me as results are unpredictable. I especially like the cut pieces of photocopied old manuscript and embroidered bag which seem intensified as a result of the technique.

Mixed media tonal tonal columns

I’ve made 3 of these and had enormous fun as the techniques seemed to flow into each other.

1 & 2

tonal study 8



I really loved the way the white acrylic paint  applied with the roller created beautiful ripples [1], a very different result from the ink used previously.  I had a lot of fun applying the white tissue paper and then applying black charcoal over it  [1]– it seemed to split and divide – I can really see potential for animal markings in this.

I tried to work a bit more uniformly on [2] by making triangular markings and then breaking them down by adding  a different medium on the top.

I’m very pleased with these especially the effect of white charcoal over the black in the centre of this column.

Again charcoal has been a joy to work with on 3 and I’ve applied it to all the sections here. I was fascinated with the second from the left  - as I rubbed the charcoal over the strips of newspaper it didn’t reach the base paper underneath which resulted in a fabulous contrast.  I also love the effect of the white charcoal over the torn white tissue paper – grainy and delicate.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Study three artists

Sian has asked us to study three artists: Herta Puls, kadinsky and another of our choice who uses any of the techniques and methods included in this first module.

In addition to the information she has given us regarding Herta Puls a textile artist and author of the book entitled The Art of Cutwork and Applique Historic, Modern and Kuna Indian, Sian has asked us to find:

1. An image of the Mola embroidery of the Kuna Indians of Panama [both photos are taken from the book mentioned above:


I love this photo of a Kuna woman wearing her Mola blouse


This is a picture of a ‘dog mola’ from Achutupo, San Blas

2. An illustration of Kandinski’s work to show he used shapes  to create create movement and depth in his work.


This example shows Kadinski’s use of star and cross shapes in this abstract painting

Composition VIII
1923 (140 Kb); Oil on canvas, 140 x 201 cm (55 1/8 x 79 1/8 in); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York . Source:

And finally The artist  of my choice is Karina Thompson




I met Karina whilst she demonstrated her work at Art in Action a few years ago. She was fascinating to talk to and I visited her many times as my husband was demonstrating in the Illustrator’s tent and I spent most of my time switching between the Illustrators and the textile artists. She was producing beautiful and huge pieces of work using the slashing technique.

This is her entry on her website:


Slashing is a process that involves layering up fabric, stitching usually in parallel channels and then cutting through to the base layer. This can then be brushed to fray it, exposing the layers below and producing velvet like texture. Further embellishment might take the form of additional stitching or the bonding of plastics or metal foil onto the surface. It is both delicate and robust with intricate colour mixes depending on the fabrics used. It is also stable and surprisingly hardwearing. This technique leads itself to large scale work with the freedom to make dramatic compositional statements as well as subtle colour and textural details.

“I like the intricate and diverse textures that can be built up in this way using straightforward textile processes.”

A recent development has seen the innovative use of digitally programmed stitch to embellish a surface.  This technique allows pinpoint precision of both placement and the nature of the embroidery.  Karina has begun to experiment using this process using medical data for a series of commissions for the Centre for Clinical Haematology, University Hospital Birmingham.

I’ve now completed the first module – a great feeling!

Onward then as I wait for the second module to arrive, perhaps a little of the sketchbook challenge………