ATV Part 5 Project 2 Building a response – Textile and yarn concepts

Development of textile concepts

Using my drawings from Project 1 I developed the following textile concepts.

Development of yarn and linear concepts

Folded and crumpled paper which was then stitched

Layered papers with stitch. Torn and crumpled papers.

Layered papers and foam with paint and pen.

Layered and cut out papers

Examples of folded and layered papers

Wrapped and knotted papers

ATV Part 5 Project 2 Building a response

Identity and present your colour palette

Following my development of drawings I have chosen these colour palettes inspired by photos and drawings from the marine environment.

Be inspired by an artist or designer

Lee Alexander MacQueen

I want to hold my hand up to being guilty of not paying much attention to fashion in the past. I always felt very removed from the culture of trends and catwalk collections. Clothing for me was about practicalities and what was available although I always veered to more unusual looks if I was exposed to them. Now having the internet we are exposed to so much information it’s possible to find designers that appeal to you or watch catwalk shows of the latest or past collections and even to see some of the processes involved in creating them.

During my research of these, MacQueen’s work really stood out to me. As I have said knowing nothing about him I did research only to discover sadly he is no longer here and that we shared a birthday. I also discovered he was fascinated by his Scottish heritage and his ancestors belonged to an area of Skye where my own came from.

I think his work was particularly inspiring as he broke boundaries producing his collections. You can see the commitment to the theme he is trying to convey. His catwalk shows were more like performance art and the outfits often made from unusual materials which produced reactions of shock and awe. He was certainly a master of his craft.

I am particularly drawn to the work created for his Voss Spring/Summer 2001 collection, the colours in the green outfits, the razorshell dress and the outfits made with mussel shells. Other things were the embroidery, the asymmetric cuts and the use of unusual materials as in the red microscope slide dress.

Fig.1. Alexander McQueen Spring 2001 Ready-to-Wear Fashion Show (2001)

Fig. 2. Alexander McQueen Spring 2001 Ready-to-Wear Fashion Show (2001)

Fig. 3. Voss, Alexander McQueen (2001)

Fig. 4. Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer (2001)

Fig. 5. Exotic Pieces of Alexander McQueen’s Savage Beauty Fashion

Iris van Herpen

Iris van Herpen is a Dutch fashion designer. Since her first show in 2007 she has continued to investigate and invent new ways of combining traditional and radical materials within her garment construction producing futuristic looking forms.

Van Herpen innovative approach has included the use of 3D printing as a garment construction technique and her work is almost a form of sculpture. In terms of research for this project I was particularly drawn to her ‘Water Dress’. For this piece she collaborated with Nick Knight who captured high speed footage of model Daphne Guinness being splashed with black and clear water. She then chose her final idea from one of the many images and heated and sculpted plastic to produce the dress.

Fig. 6. Iris van Herpen Water Dress (2013)

Fig. 1. and Fig. 2. Alexander McQueen Spring 2001 Ready-to-Wear Fashion Show (2001) At: (Accessed on 30 Nov 2018)

Fig. 3. Voss, Alexander McQueen (2001) At: (Accessed on 30 Nov 2018)

Fig. 4. Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer (2001) At: (Accessed on 30 Nov 2018)

Fig. 5. Exotic Pieces of Alexander McQueen’s Savage Beauty Fashion (2015) At: (Accessed on 30 Nov 2018)

Fig. 6. Iris van Herpen Water Dress (2013) At: (Accessed on 30 Nov 2018)

ATV 5 Project 1 Developing visual research

I reviewed my visual research from the Introduction and Parts 1 and 2 and other ideas and sketches made during the process of the course. My strengths lie in my more detailed observational drawings and I feel my concept drawings of ideas are a weakness. I find it difficult to convey my ideas from my head to the paper, I expect I lack confidence in this as looking back these sketches tend to be very small.
I have chosen to go with Option 1 Strengthening a theme. This involves going back to look at Part 1 The Introductory Project. My choice of theme for this was ‘Nature’s Larder’.

As we are not constrained to producing just a still-life composition from household objects like we did initially I wanted to strengthen and develop this theme by thinking more about Nature’s Larder and what that meant to me. My development features a lot of investigation into the sea.

Here are some of my drawings.

Watercolour crayons drawing of lobster

Watercolour crayon and pen Bladderwrack

Intaglio print of seaweeds

Acrylics Fish skin

Mixed media Mussel shell

Pencil Honey Bee and honeycombs

ATV Part 5 Introduction

ATV Part 5

I am returning to my studies after a break. I had to take some time off to deal with some personal events and although this course has never been far from my mind. I feel the time has flown by and I need to now make more time for me to continue with my studies. Before this time out I had actually completed and submitted Part 4 of my practical work but still have to update my blog with my processes. I have decided to leave this for now and complete part 5 and will return to it again.

The ATV course guidelines ask us to consider this statement,

‘The studio is a laboratory, not a factory. An exhibition is the result of your experiments, but the process is never-ending. So an exhibition is not a conclusion.’

(Chris Ofili)

This statement makes me feel excited I relish experimenting and although for someone like me as a total beginner everything is an experiment I think Ofili’s approach is how the creative approach works. For me I have lots of ideas, then I spend quite a lot of time reflecting on them and trying to work out how I might achieve them. When I have more refined ideas I research materials and processes and then I will experiment to see how these ideas work out. So on reflection, for me not everything is experimenting there is a lot of thinking and reflection beforehand.

Thinking of an exhibition, or in our case the submission of work, as a result of the experiment rather than a conclusion makes me think it is possible that at that moment in time it is a conclusion. When you have an outcome in my mind and have achieved it that is a conclusion but I can also understand how that could be seen as a result that at some time in the future you may rework or develop into a new work. Although we are not required to present textiles in a final form I do think you can’t help visualising your work if it was developed further.

Younge, G. (2010) After the Elephant Dung: Chris Ofili (Accessed on 29 Nov 2018)

ATV Part 3 Written Reflection

At first I thought I might find this part of ATV challenging as I have diagnosed colour blindness. When I was younger during an eye test I was presented with a colourful book of circle patterns with numbers hidden within them. As I worked through the book slowly not being able to pick out the numbers I was told I was blue-green colour blind which was very unusual for a female! However working through some of the online resources has brought me to the conclusion it must be fairly mild.

Apart from this, other things I have learned from the exercises in this section are:

  • Working with neutral colours is much harder to match, the variations in tone are so subtle it is very difficult to precisely mix paint to get a correct comparison.
  • Textured fabrics also cause a similar problem. Depending on how the light hits them or the quality of the light can produce lots of tones making it very difficult to match.
  • Looking at the Old Masters painting and the ‘colourless’ glass showed me that by observing them closely the variety of colours and tones I was missing before.
  •  I am definitely drawn to colours you are more likely to find in the natural environment rather than bright, vivid colours.

Assessment according to course criteria:

Demonstration of technical and visual skills – materials, techniques, observational skills, visual awareness, design and compositional skill

I feel I have satisfactorily completed this assignment. I created a clear and well presented colour resource book. My page layouts represent visual awareness and good design skills and I have used a variety of materials and techniques to produce the book. I hope the variety of work displayed within the book demonstrates a good understanding of techical and visual skills. I feel I could improve on the watercolour studies as I don’t feel they are a good representation of my compositional skills as I have produced a palette of colours rather than a striped design. I got a little confused at the outcome I was trying to produce and it was only while writing my work up I realised my mistake.

Quality of outcome – content, application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner, discernment, conceptualism of thoughts, communication of ideas.

I think the quality of my colour book is of a good standard, it is clear and laid out in a coherent manner.

Demonstration of creativity – imagination, experimentation, invention, development of a personal voice.

This section probably allows least for demonstrating creativity as it was more constructed than the previous ones. However I hope I have demonstrated a level of creativity in the fabrics I have chosen, the extended layouts and the production of the colour book. The stitched front cover was inspired by looking at Ptolemy Mann’s work.

Context, reflection, research, critical thinking.

I’ve researched a number of artists and designers reflecting on whether their work appeals to me or not. I’ve used critical thinking as I’ve reflected on my own work and as I have worked through my learning log. I’ve also researched and trialled some colour research digital tools and resources, reflected on their outcomes and applied critical thinking to their usefulness.

ATV Part 3 Assignment 3

This assignment requires me to produce a portfolio of the colour work I have completed. It requires the work to be well presented in a interesting and professional way in a book format.

I had given quite a bit of thought as to how to do this as my tutor had suggested he would like to see something I had made rather than bought to present my work in. I decided to make a hand bound A3 portfolio with a hand stitched front cover. I bound the book with multicoloured waxed thread and cut a frame out of mount board for the front cover. This is a slide show of my finished work.

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ATV Part 3 Exercise 3.4 Collage studies

This exercise is to build on collage skills which I previously explored in Part 1 of the course. However, the focus is to be on the exploration and presentation of colour and composition.

I initially took a picture of a corner in my studio.


Using this photograph as a reference I created three collage studies, that capture its colour and composition.

Part 1

A simple colour combination 


The second collage was to be an unusual colour combination. I chose a mix of very vibrant colours for this and a palette I would not usually choose.


The third collage was required to have a complex colour combination. Complexity suggested to me, a wider range of colours and detail.


Part 2

I chose the unusual colour combination to make three further collages as I wanted to use the simple shapes I had picked out in it.

I had some really nice black and white patterned papers and decided to use them to complete a monochromatic study.


I chose to work with a range of blues for the single colour study. As I am blue-green colour blind I thought this might present a challenge for me. I hope I managed to effectively represent the tonal values of the original collage.


The third version required us to be bold and adventurous using a large number of different colours and papers.


ATV Part 3 Project 2 Exercise 3.3

Watercolour studies

The aim of this exercise is to help us gain an understanding of opacitities of colour through observation and recording of transparent and semi-transparent objects.

To do this I collected a range of empty glass jars and a vase and presented them as a small still-life display. I then created a series of striped palettes based on the colours I could see within the glassware with watercolour crayons as I did not have watercolour paints with the colours I needed.


I’m not sure I did this entirely successfully as looking back on the requirements for this exercise I feel I created more of a colour palette rather than a striped interpretation of the still life. Re-reading the exercise I don’t think I correctly represented the proportions. This is an exercise I may need to repeat especially if the striped designs are required for future projects.

ATV Part 3 Exercise 3.2 Translation through yarn

This exercise aims to help you work on ways of interpreting colour and colour proportions from an image and to present these as a yarn wrap.

I chose ‘Supper at Emmaus’ by Caravaggio as my Old Masters painting.  I found it quite difficult to buy a good quality postcard size of the image and in the end chose to purchase an A3 print from the National Galleries website.

Finding yarns, ribbons, threads and lace that fitted with the colours was more difficult than I expected. Modern colours have a brightness to them which didn’t accurately convey the colours of the painting. I mainly used embroidery threads, some leather, ribbon and wool.

I made three wraps by using card mount and wrapping the materials around it. The wraps are supposed to convey the colour scheme from horizontal, vertical and the centre of the painting.

I found this exercise to be interesting and challenging. It certainly increased my appreciation of the painting as I studied the play of light and shadows within it. The colour matching went fairly well and I hope I made a good representation of the colours within the painting.

ATV Part 3 Research Point 2

Digital colour resources research 

Adobe Colour CC

This allows you to build colour palettes digitally by selecting from a colour wheel or using an image to pick out colours from.

I experimented with this app by using a photographed image of my Old Master’s painting ‘Supper at Emmaus’ by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio.

I created these three palettes from isolating sections of the painting. You are restricted to five colours per palette which is probably better if you are creating a logo or branding but not so useful if you are looking at a painting. I wasn’t that impressed in terms of interpreting the palette of the painting. It wouldn’t pick up the turquoise blue of the vase or the necktie and several of the colours don’t look like the same shade. However I can see the value of this app if you were trying to create a palette to choose colour for a design. It allows you to use a slider to alter the brightness and values of the colour allowing you to personalise the palette. It also gives you the levels which would be useful for printing purposes. The colour wheel lets you create a palette based on single colour by choosing themes. I think this app could be useful as a starting point to create some ideas or if you were creating digitally printed textiles.

Mudcube Colour Sphere 

This software isn’t available as an app but you can use it directly from the web. It allows you to generate colour gradients, colour palettes and colour blindness tests, which I found amusing. I failed colour blindness tests before and through this app and a little further research I have discovered I have tritanopia and apparently this is quite rare about 1 in 30-50,000 people and generally only 8% of men and 0.5% of women have a colour vision defiiciency! Rather than tests it indicates the colour scheme which someone with the different types of colour blindness would see, which made me think mine must be a mild form of it.

So this software allows you to choose a colour and then form colour palettes based on it such as complementary, neutral, split complementary, tetradic etc. It only chooses colour that have the same saturation and brightness though so while giving some varied palettes they lack depth and tone which would make an artwork more interesting.


An app I tried which was rubbish and didn’t work properly.


This is an open collection of colour palettes which can be used as a resource by anyone.

Color Hunter

An online tool to find and make colour palettes from images. This works very basically choosing random parts of the image. It might be useful if you zoomed in on a section prior to uploading the image. There are no options to change proportions or pick your own palette.

Colour Lovers

An online forum for sharing created palettes and patterns. It allows you to choose images from Flikr but not from your personal image library. It generates six palettes and gives a chart of up to 48 colours from the image. It looks interesting but wasn’t the simplest to use. I had several attempts at finding an image it would import, then couldn’t find the saved palette. I produced it again and screenshot it as I couldn’t find another way of saving it and sharing to WordPress. This looks like an interesting and advanced tool provided you have the time and patience to learn how to use it.



An interesting little app where you can either take a photo or choose from your library and it will give you multiple layouts of the colour palettes it produces, you can reproduce Hex codes and save to your own image library for sharing. However recently it is only showing photos from my library which I have used elsewhere online so I’m unsure if a recent IOS update has affected its productivity. You can add up to 11 colours in the palette and display them in varying layouts on the image. It’s fun to use and quite simple, but like the other apps it didn’t pick up the correct shades in the Caravaggio painting.