Thursday, 25 November 2010

Charcoal and putty rubber

My local library is my lifeline, I couldn't afford my bibilographic habit, there's no two ways about it, and I get to consult books that maybe aren't excellent but have useful material.  And then there are books that are out of print but are an absolute goldmine, like Learn to Paint and Draw by Hazel Harrison.  I must admit, before this class I would have thought that using an instructional book was 'cheating', if you can't draw you can't draw, but this book takes you through loads of different drawing and painting mediums and techniques.  It's from this book that I picked up the technique of charcoal and putty rubber.  You cover the entire drawing area with a thin background of charcoal, taking time to rub it and get it smooth, and then begin to work with charcoal lines and then lift out highlights with a putty rubber.  Working big makes expressiveness easier

Thursday, 11 November 2010

A tribute to Lucy Boston

When I was starting my Painting and Drawing night class I needed a brush roll to protect my acrylics brushes, and thought the brush containers I saw in art shops expensive, unimaginative and that I could do my own.  So I took a lovely piece of Austrian fabric and some contrasting green fabrics and pieced these four sets of six diamonds in the same way as Lucy Boston on the back of her quilt Toby Hemming's Cot Cover.  Lucy Boston was the lady who wrote The Children of Green Knowe and it's sequels about a boy Toby who goes to live with his grandmother and finds he is also living with the ghosts of three children who happily haunt the house and become his friends.  She was also a quilter of incredible talent who worked by paper piecing, I have her granddaughter Diana Boston's book The Patchworks of Lucy Boston which combines excellent photographs of Lucy Boston's quilts with extensive and useful commentary on history, fabrics and construction.  This is my humble tribute, I fussy cut the diamonds to make use of the patterns of each fabric.

Quilters' Guild Mystery Quilt

Have finally got pictures and self together with regard to my mystery quilt.  This was a set of pattern instructions run over 4 editions of The Quilter, the Quilters' Guild quarterly magazine.  In the end I took so long I had all four issues by the time I got down to it but I did follow the instructions issue by issue, which caused its own issues when there were problems, but I got there.  I had good fun also doing a book of the quilt including why I chose my fabrics.

The mystery quilt instructions were to use 12 fabrics, 4 lights, 4 mediums and 4 darks, no stripes.  I decided on blues, as I now know from having to pay attention to and carefully choose my colours I am using soft warm blues.  My choice was partly indicated by some pretty blue and white Austrian dress fabric I had (think Heidi and Sound of Music), a lightweight cotton that I've always wanted to use, and a navy used for a pirate costume for Caitlin.  Also, blues remind me of my mother.  Blue has always suited her but even more so now her hair is a fine silver, and soft blue is like her personality, soft, quietly beautiful and warm.

The central panel is the diamond you can see here, I added a border of 6 by 1 and a half inch strips, due to the fact that the stripes on my leftover Austrain fabric ran the wrong way!  I then decided to add a double sawtooth border, 1 inch squares on the inside and 3 inch on the outside, which will look amazing but 64 large and 192 small squares later!  It will be worth the effort, and I'm very good at making half sqaure triangles using the method of sewing either side of a diagonal now...  I then laid all the squares out to try and make sure the same fabrics weren't too close together and carefully numbered them all and pinned them with pieces of paper, we'll see if it works!