ATV. Part 3 colour studies. Written reflection

Reflection for part three

The colour section of ATV was the part I was dreading most. I don’t know very much about colour theory, the rules of colour, and not much of a grasp on complementary, split complementary or triad. If I like a colour I like it, if I like it with another colour great! I always feel colour for me is more intuitive than based on any rules. I did purchase a colour wheel and a copy of David Hornung’s book, Colour-A workshop for artists and designers [1] prior to starting this course but I have only skimmed through a few chapters.

I learnt a lot from colour matching the printed and neutral fabrics. It takes a lot of experimenting to create a perfect match. Colours I thought would mix to create the colour I needed were often not the case but I enjoyed the playing around with colour and found it quite therapeutic to make up charts of colour with written notes on what colours I had used. As I mentioned above, this has led me to keeping a small colour mix book of my own to experiment with colour mixes and chart new colours.

Translation through yarn was my favourite part of this module and I know that I will use it again for future projects. I enjoyed matching the yarns and working in proportions and the end results of the wraps are so tactile and nice to look at as well as being an invaluable resource.

Working with watercolour to translate the colours in glass objects was challenging. It took a lot of focus to be able to see colours that my brain was telling me were not there because the object was clear! I was pleased with the results of this exercise and the opacities of colour I had managed to make.

The research on colour digital resources was very enlightening to me and because of that research I have used Adobe Color CC throughout this module to help with extracting colour from objects and to see the difference between what the programme sees and what I see. I also have an app on my phone now so I can take photos while I’m out and create colour palettes for that image.

I found it a little repetitive doing 6 collages of the same image and I think that may have taken away some of the creativity of the collage for me. Even though each one was a different exercise in colour I think I would have been more creative in my approach if I could have worked from a couple of different images.

I enjoyed making my colour studies book. I have made books and journals before but had never done copic binding so that was new to me. I liked the challenge of keeping a fresh, clean look within the book and worked hard to achieve this overall look throughout. I was happy with a lot of the work I had done in this module which made selecting work a little harder. The book brought together the lessons really well into one place and makes a nice showcase of the work chosen to be in it.

[1] Published by Laurence King publishing 2012 ISBN: 978-1-85669-877-1


ATV Assignment three Colour communication- colour studies book

Assignment three Colour communication

Making a colour studies book

I made my colour studies book from A3 card, folded to A4 and copic bound using white book board. I wanted my book to have a clean, fresh, minimalistic feel to it- just the work and a small explanation. Nothing fussy or overly fancy. I bound more pages than I needed so other work can be added during the course of ATV. Overall, I am very happy with the design and layout of my book. The only thing I would change is the blue cord I used for the binding. While I like the colour on the binding, I am not keen on it when you come across it in the centre of the signatures. I wish I had used either white or black. To try and remedy this and pull it together cohesively I have used a blue colour text for headings and quotes within the pages.


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ATV 3 EX.3.4 part one & two Collage studies

Ex.3.4 Collage studies Part one

Aims to help you extend your skills at working with collage, with a focus on colour and composition

I took a photo of one end of my studio. It’s always messy at this end as that’s where everything tends to get put when I finish with it before I can be bothered to tidy up! I printed the photo out and then wrote a list of all the colours I could see in the photo. This gave me a starting point and made sure I didn’t miss any colours out. I used my light box to make a drawing of the photo which I could then collage onto.

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The first collage was a ‘simple’ collage. My first go at this was to use the simple drawing I had done and just use purple, blue and white tissue paper, just 3 simple colours. I wasn’t happy with this as it looked ‘empty so I added brown and black into the mix as well. I still wasn’t feeling it so decided to start again. I interpreted this by using simple block shapes for the collage and using the seven dominant colours in the photo. For the papers I used gouache paint to achieve the colours I needed. I also did a smaller line collage of these colours to go along with the simple collage.

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For the second collage which was an unusual colour combination I used Adobe Color CC to look for the smallest areas of bright colours in the photo. I then used my Gelli plate to create the colours I needed. This also gave a bit of texture to the colour and I could mix different colours together on the gelli plate quickly to get the colours I wanted and create a whole page of colour I could then cut up. The only issue I need note here is that I mixed the colours by matching them to the colours picked out on the screen. Then when I later printed off that colour palette for my sketchbook the colours came out a bit darker.  In future I need to print the colour palette out and work from that so that my tutor and assessors are seeing the same colours I am seeing.

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The third collage was a ‘complex’ one. I decided to use patterned papers for this one, staying sympathetic to the original colour scheme and making sure that I didn’t introduce any ‘new’ colours into the mix within the patterns. This is my favourite collage. Using the patterned papers really takes it up a notch and it has a clean fresh feel to it even though it’s the complex one.

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Part two

For the monochromatic collage I used magazine pages in black, white, grey and text and pattern. I used black and white ink to outline and highlight areas. I like the contrasts in this collage but I feel it came out quite messy looking so I wasn’t happy to put it in my colour book so I have put it in my sketchbook.

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Next was a single colour study collage. I chose the yellow ochre colour of the desk, Gouache paint box and the shelves to explore. I photocopied my earlier simple colour collage to get a reference for the tonal values. I used my gelli plate again with antique gold acrylic paint with various amounts of white, black and grey for the mixes. I liked making the mixes on the gelli plate because you don’t know what you are going to get and it gives you a large range of colours to play around with.

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For the multi coloured collage I made my own patterned papers with the gelli plate using a range of tools and different papers like cake cases, greaseproof paper, old ledger paper, creased packaging paper, copy paper and corrugated card. For the colours, I literally just grabbed a handful of colours that were pleasing to me and played with them on the gelli plate. I stuck to the simple block collage as I wanted the colours and patterns to be the feature point.

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I made the conscious decision to stick with 2 styles for the collages so they would be cohesive in the colour studies book. One style was very simple, using blocks of paper to create the collage and the other was more complex, using a drawing I did of the photo and tracing and cutting out each piece of collage material for a more detailed, composed collage. I feel I have chosen the right design for each collage and feel that they explore the exercise given for each one.

The single colour collage was a really good exercise in tone and shade. Mixing colours to get those tones and shades and trying to keep the same tonal values in the collage was a (good0 challenge. I am pleased with the monochrome collage and the papers I chose to use but I feel it came out a little messy and when placed next to the other collages it didn’t seem to fit in so I made the decision to leave it out of my colour book.

I wasn’t keen on the gouache paints because of the chalkiness and also the tubes are only small in the set I bought and I knew I would need a lot to cover whole pages of paint to cut up, so I went with acrylics for the collages. Mixing the colours on a gelli plate was fast, easy and created a huge variety of colours and tones. On some of the prints the paint hasn’t mixed properly so you can the different colours used to make that mix which was great for the single colour collage. And on others it has given a flat, even colour so there was lots to work with and enough for sample swatches in my sketchbook and colour book.

ATV 3 Project 2 materials and composition EX. 3.3 Watercolour studies

Project 2 Materials and composition

Ex. 3.3 Watercolour studies

Explore and gain an understanding of opacities of colour through the observation and recording of transparent and semi-transparent objects and to extract colour palettes and proportions of colour from a self-selected first hand visual source.

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I selected 6 glass objects for this exercise, 3 clear glass, one with a hint of purple and two green toned. I set up the still life with white paper behind and underneath to stop the interference of other colours. I could see from the beginning that the way I had the lights would influence the colours I would see, so, for the first still life I had an overhead lamp giving light from overhead and to the left and a daylight lamp giving light from the right. For the second I angled the overhead light away and just had the daylight lamp shining on it from the right. This meant there was less light shining directly on the glass which stopped the light reflection washing out the colour and intensified the colours of the glass. I tested colour in my sketchbook to get the colours right before using them on the watercolour paper. For the first still life I looked at the whole and did a colour proportionate sample and then I looked at the individual colours I could see in the whole, the greens, the blues etc. and did separate samples for those.  For the second still life I looked at each individual object and painted the colours in the proportions I saw them in that one piece.


Light and angle play a huge part in the colours you see in this exercise. Even changing the angle you look at it from straight on to sideways introduces new colours. I liked using the watercolours for this exercise as you can really experiment with opacities of a colour and get more accurate results than you would using gouache or acrylics. It was challenging to find the right colours in a clear object. It’s all about looking for the shadows and reflections and seeing their colours as your brain tells you that a clear object is clear and has no colour! It was surprising how many colours I could actually see when I looked hard enough. After I had finished painting the still life’s I decided to put the photos I took of them into Adobe color CC and see what colours I could pick out from there. It fascinates me how differently I see colour than the Adobe programme does. I saw the little square bottle in purples and lilacs but the programme picked them out as a sort of taupe/grey colour. It is very interesting to compare the two. I am still left wondering whether the difference is due to monitor colour settings or just that the programme actually can see a bigger range of colours.

ATV 3 colour studies EX. 3.2 Translation through yarn

Ex. 3.2 Translation through yarn

Work on ways of interpreting colour and colour proportions from a 2D image, through yarn and material selection and placement. Extract, explore and present a palette of colours.

The painting I chose was Woman in a blue dressing gown torso exposed by Edgar Degas. It is an impressionist, nude painting done with oils on canvas between 1887-1890.

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I chose this painting because I liked the combination and depth of colours used. There are lots of smaller dabs of colour which create different tones and shades of the same colour.

I printed the image on my Dads printer as his is better quality than mine but actually the colours came out very differently from the original image so I then tried printing it on my Kodak printer and the colours were a lot truer.

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I used Adobe Color CC to choose different areas of the painting to extract. I did this four times, each time trying to capture the same colour but in a different shade. This gave me a huge range of colours and tones, more maybe than I might have distinguished just by eye. I took the smaller 4 images and the larger image with me to the yarn shop to match the colours. I felt I had made good colour matches in the shop, even taking the yarns to the window to see them in natural light, but once home some of the colours looked totally different. Again, the light you are working with greatly changes the way we see the colours.

I started by making mini wrap samples for my sketchbook of the colour choices on each of the 4 images. There were 5 colours per image so I had to match 20 colours in total which actually was easier than I thought once I pulled out my scrap box to combine with the new yarns I had bought. I made a note of each yarn used in my sketchbook, including the colour code if available, where I bought it from and price, if known. For these 4 small images I didn’t concentrate on the proportion of colour, just the correct colour match.

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I then moved onto a larger wrap using all the colours in the image that I could see by eye (not picked out by digital resource) and wrapping them in proportion to the image. I layered different yarns to get the different shades in some cases. Again, I made sure to record all the yarns in my sketchbook for future reference. I used a total of 29 colours on the larger wrap to represent all the colours I could see. It would be so interesting to know the names of the colours Degas actually used in his painting and how many mixes he made.

I really enjoyed the yarn wrapping but wanted to see if I could take it a step further. There was so much texture in the Degas painting that I wanted to see if I could try and capture that as well as the colour. I chose to look at four areas of the painting- the bottom left background, the dressing gown, the top left background and the torso. For each of these areas I made squares of mount board and used the chosen colours of yarn for that area to wrap and weave in different ways, expressing the texture of each area. I was really pleased with these mini wraps and felt they reflected the colours and textures of the painting.

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I enjoyed this task even though I was quite daunted by it at the start and didn’t think I would be able to match the colours so accurately. I enjoyed going through my yarn stash and my scrap box and mixing yarns together to create the right colour. I think that using Adobe Color CC to take colour swatches in the first instance really helped me to see the range of colours in the painting and be confident enough to extract them in yarn form. It also made me look closely at the balance and proportion of colour used within the painting, seeing not just how many colours there were but all the different range of shades and tones of the same colour and the mixing and layering it must have taken to obtain that colour. I am really pleased with the wraps, they look good, the colours have been matched well and I am pleased that I took it a step further with the mini squares to create texture as well as colour. I feel that yarn wraps will be a good tool to use in the future when selecting colour and materials to use with my own images.


ATV 3 Colour studies EX. 3.1- Gouache studies

ATV Part 3 colour studies

Project 1 colour palettes and proportion

Ex.3.1 Gouache studies- part one

Collate, observe and record colour palettes from a series of textiles

I had never used gouache paints before so the first thing I did was make a colour reference chart to refer to throughout this exercise. I had thought to just use acrylic paints for this exercise but the students in the textiles Facebook group advised me to go with the gouache. To be honest I found the texture of them similar to acrylic paint.

I started with the printed fabric samples. I used fabrics that had a good range of colours. The gouache colour would match ok but when it dried it would go chalky and throw the colour off so I needed to wait until samples had dried before I could get an accurate colour match. I found it useful to make a chart stating which colours I had mixed together to get the final colour and I have included these in my sketchbook. This has also led me to start keeping a smaller colour reference journal when I am painting and for recording colours from new paints, pencils and pens. I am hoping this will become a useful asset.

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For the neutral fabric I used a calico with a repeating stitch. I actually found this one a little easier as there were more variances of colour and tone. In some light the fabric had a slight orangey hue, in others, strangely, slightly green.

I feel I matched the colours well and am happy with the results I achieved. I think a lot depends on how you personally see colour and the light conditions you are working under and also to a small degree the paper you are using.

Ex. 3.1 part 2

Extending the design- printed fabric

I chose a lovely vintage piece of printed fabric for this part. The fabric reminded me of a particular designer, which after searching through google and looking at Mackintosh, Skandia retro and 60’s and 70’s retro, I finally realised it was reminiscent of some Clarice Cliff designs (not important to the project, but bugging me!) Again, I started by mixing samples and noting down the colours used on a colour chart. I broke the fabric down into what colours there were- 5 colours, 2 shades of greys, 2 shades of purples and 1 pink which highlighted and balanced the rest of the colours, all a repeating pattern on an off white background. I had to wait for the paint to dry again before seeing if it was a good match. I feel I matched the colours and the pattern well in this exercise so I am pleased with the result.

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I have to say that I am not loving the gouache paint. Maybe it’s because I bought a cheap set but I am finding them very chalky and I am not managing to achieve a good flat colour with them. Having to wait until the colour dries to see how it changes is time consuming as well. If I was to do this exercise again I think I would use acrylics.


Ex.3.1 part 3

Extending the design- neutral fabric

I chose a sort of cheese cloth fabric with lines of thicker slub running through it. I found this piece more challenging which surprised me as the neutral fabric in part 1 I found easier. I think this was to do with the texture and open weave of this fabric. Because of the open weave colour could be seen underneath it creating shadows and it is quite a shiny fabric which caused lots reflection off of it which constantly changed the colour and tone of the fabric. I did my colour samples first and waited for them to dry. I applied a base colour and then used a fan brush to add in some darker marks. I went over it again with the base colour and then used titanium white on a dry brush to add texture. In my sketchbook I did try this piece on tan paper and black paper as I thought that might work better but I didn’t really like the results as the background paper changed the colours I was using.

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Having to break colours down in order to recreate them made me really look at how colour is made up. Some colours contained surprising colours- like one of the greys for the printed fabric had brown undertones and one had blue. The blue I expected, the brown I didn’t.  Learning how to mix and recording those mixes in detail I felt was very beneficial. Also light plays a huge part in how you see the colours. I worked in my studio under a daylight lamp, but when I turned the lamp off and just had the ceiling light on, the colours were very different. Because of this I made sure if I was coming back to anything that I got the light conditions the same as before otherwise my colours would be off.

ATV part 3 colour studies research point 2

ATV: Part three Colour studies

Project one: colour palettes and proportion

Research point two

Looking at digital resources to experiment with colour

I am a total newbie to anything to do with digital colour resources. I have never heard of any of the applications on the list let alone used them. My son gave me a quick lesson on what all the abbreviations meant as I had no idea!

HSV- hue, saturation, colour

RGB- red, green, blue

CMYK- cyan, magenta, yellow, key (black)

Hexadecimal or hex code- A hexadecimal value (or hex code) is a six-digit alpha or numeric value that is read by a browser to produce a specific colour. For example, the hex code for black is #000000; the hex code for white is #ffffff; the hex code for red is #cc0033.

Adobe Color CC

  • This seemed the easiest programme to use out of all the ones listed. You can upload your own image, under the my themes tab, and using the sliders, select areas within that image to get the colour match. It allows you to match 5 colours at a time. You can save your colour palette to your library for future reference.
  • Under the create heading you have a colour wheel and you can move colour selectors around to create your own custom palette of colours or you can click on one of the colour rules at the side- analogous, monochromatic, triad, complementary, compound or shades and the programme will select the colours for your choice. Or you can enter the RGB, CMTK, hex code, LAB or HSB values and it will give you the correct colour for that value.
  • You can use the explore tab to look at thousands of colour palettes made by other people.
  • It works with Adobe capture, an app you can add to your phone. (The app has more features like turning your uploaded photo into a vector graphic, but any colour matches you save on the app will be stored in your library on the adobe Color CC programme on your pc.)
  • You can also choose moods for your uploaded image-colourful, bright, muted, deep, dark and the programme automatically picks out the colours in your image to these moods.
  • It would be compatible with other Adobe editing software so you could create custom palettes for those programs.
  • Limitations- The colours may vary from monitor to monitor depending on your settings. The print of the colour palette will only be as good as your printer, so while the colours may seem very accurate on screen, they might not print to the same quality.

I used this programme to select colours for my yarn experiments in exercise 3.2 and for my glass bottles in exercise 3.3. It amazed me how differently the colours showed up on the computer compared with how I saw the colours with my own eyes. Whether this is due to monitor settings, printer quality of the printed palette or whether my eyes just interpret the colours slightly differently I don’t know! I found this a valuable tool and will be using it again.

Mud cube colour sphere

  • This programme allows you to choose colour from moving the sliders on a colour sphere or from entering the Hex, RGB, and HSL values. If you don’t know the hex, RGB or HLS values then you can chose the colour on the sphere and then look in the relevant box for the value. Useful maybe if you needed to find the values for other programmes??
  • Under the Harmony tab you have various colour rules such as neutral, analogous, clash, complementary, split complementary, triadic, tetradic, four tone, five tone and six tone.
  • Under the visions tab you can chose various visions, e.g. if you chose protonopia (red-green colour blindness) you would be able to see what a person with that type, of colour blindness sees; so red would look green. I thought that was a good feature.
  • Limitations- you can’t upload your own image, I couldn’t find if you could save your colours anywhere other than taking a screen shot, I didn’t find this one as easy to use as Adobe Color CC. I think you have to use this programme with other programmes like Illustrator, Photoshop and palette creator to get the full capability of it.

Color Halipixel

  • I just found this one confusing! You can scroll anywhere on the screen and different colours pop up. It took me a while to realise that if you click then the colour saves to the left hand side of the screen and then you can save more colours next to it until you fill up the screen (I got to 36 colours and could have added more). You had to clear each colour individually if you wanted to start again as the back button just took me out of the programme and back to google.
  • Limitations- I couldn’t save the colours again, unless I screen shot it. You can’t upload an image to extract colour from.

Color Hunter

  • You can upload your own image on this one but every time I tried it just kept coming back with an error code so I don’t know how good it is at choosing the colours from an image.
  • You could search other people’s colour palettes but to be honest they were not very interesting and the page had lots of ads which was very annoying.
  • Limitations- Couldn’t upload my image for some reason, seems a very simple basic tool compared to the other programmes I have looked at.


  • You can search other people’s pictures and palettes
  • You can sort by name, date, popularity or colour
  • The * tab will show you everything containing your chosen colour from, paintings, photos, textiles, ceramics
  • The colour tab will give you single swatches in all shades of your chosen colour
  • The palette tab gives you a range of colour palettes containing your chosen colour
  • The gradient tab gives you a spectrum of colours
  • The pattern tab gives you patterns containing your chosen colour
  • The image tab gives images containing your chosen colour
  • The create tab allows you to create your own colour, palette or gradient using the sliders. There is also an image icon but when I clicked on that it always comes up saying downloading and doesn’t do anything so I can’t say what that does.
  • Limitations- you have to sign up for an account to be able to save colours and images.


I enjoyed discovering these new tools. I have never used anything like these before and to be honest I never knew they existed. I had no idea what the abbreviations meant until my son explained them so I feel I have gained a new level of knowledge there! Most of the programmes were very simple to use, some I would say were too simple to be of much use, but I liked Adobe Color CC and will definitely use that again. It also led me to Adobe Capture which I have installed on my phone and have used to capture some colours when I have been out.

ATV:Part 3 colour studies Research point 1

ATV: Part three Colour studies

Project one: colour palettes and proportion

Research point one

Research the colour work of these textile artists and designers

Voyage Decoration

“Aspiring to be colourful…we express our vision in soft watercolour painting and drawing brought to life in our own studios by our talented team of artists. Using our state of the art in-house print facility we utilise British woven cotton, linen and wools to translate our artwork into fabrics and home accessories.”-


  • Voyage Decorations signature way of using colour is in their watercolour painting style. The designs are hand painted by their artists and then translated into digital print which allows them to use a range of colours across one design.
  • Each collection has a theme or inspiration and the colours and pattern in the design come from that theme.
  • The watercolour designs seem to focus on flora and fauna and have a ‘country living’ feel to them.
  • Due to the watercolour style of most of the pieces I feel that the colour is what is most important in this case. Obviously the design is important too, but many of the pieces have no outlines, just washes of watercolour making up the design, giving the overall design an intensity and lightness of colour that can only be achieved with watercolour.
  • The designs are gentle and calming and have a light and airy feel to them and I feel that this is what makes the designs from this company very distinctive.


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“Strikingly inventive patterns and the clever use of colours. In fact open minded and unpretentious, we champion creativity. It is the art of printmaking.”-

  • Started off as a small textile printing company in Helsinki in 1949. Young artists were recruited to create new and striking designs, however although there were a lot of admirers of the designs, there were no buyers so Riitta Immonen was hired to design clothes using the bold printed textiles which sold out immediately, boosting the company’s image and brand.
  • Designs have a limited colour palette and many use tones of the same colour creating a very balanced overall look. Others use bright clashing colours that somehow work even though you feel they shouldn’t!
  • Many designs are printed in different colour combinations and unlike Voyage where I felt this indicated that the colour was the more important aspect, in this case I feel it is the design that is the strong point and the colour is secondary to that.  The designs are strong enough that they can carry any colour combination really.
  • Designs are bold, repeating, graphic and geometric with a few floral designs. Many of the earlier designs have made a comeback giving them a real retro feel.
  • Ironically, one of the most famous prints is the Unikko (poppy) designed by Maija in 1964 in protest after Armi Ratia said that Marimekko would never be a flower print company.
  • Marimekko have designed for Microsoft surface- sleeves and skins available in four iconic prints, 2 of which, Unikko and Kaivo were designed in 1964, proving that Marimekko’s designs seem to be timeless and still making their mark today. Also they have recently teamed with Clinique for a limited edition collection of beauty products and Maija Isola’s Kivet (stones) pattern designed in 1956 is featured on Finnair’s planes.

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Mary Katrantzou

“Digital print allows me to experiment with print in a way that fine art and other methods could not. It opens up a huge spectrum for possibility; I can create possibility out of impossibility, surrealism out of realism and both vice versa.”-


  • Her prints are constructed through digital technology, often using clashing aesthetics such as floral with gingham for example and she uses innovative embellishments to finish the looks.
  • I wouldn’t say that Katrantzou has a signature way of using colour. Although you can recognise her style through her collections and use of digital prints, each one has to be viewed within the context of her theme for that particular collection. For example her spring/summer 2018 collection was based on- “What would kids’ crafts look like from a couture point of view?” ( resulting in quite ingenious designs like sequined Lego block skirts and painting by numbers dresses. The painting by number dresses were black and white prints partially coloured in places teamed with black and white polka dot prints or stripes of partially clashing colour (like purple and orange). This collection had a wide range of colours inspired by her theme not a set colour palette.
  • I would say that Katrantzou designs are more important than the colour she uses. Her first collection had a signature design of trompe l’oeil prints of oversized jewellery on jersey dresses. It was the prints which gave the signature look not really the colour.

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Wallace Sewell

“Wallace Sewell are known for their use of colour, structure and yarn in surprising geometric formats. Inspired by paintings, they create individual contemporary fabrics with strikingly bold, asymmetric blocks and stripes of varying scale, which bring together a plethora of elements within one piece.” “Strongly influenced by Bauhaus for its aesthetic and design ideology….” –

  • All women company
  • They design on hand looms but then have the fabrics woven in industrial mills
  • Use stripes and blocks to create geometric shapes and designs
  • Every year they have an artist whose work they refer to at the start of a new collection which helps create their colour palette- e.g. David Hockney for their spring summer 2018 collection
  • They have designed for London Transport, embedding London landmarks in the fabric pattern for the seats. For Cross Rail trains they rode the train line taking photos of buildings and stations. “ There was a shed on one side of the track that was a beautiful green colour and that ended up as part of the design”-Sewell
  • The same design but in different colour palettes was used on Cross rail
  • They designed two lamb’s wool scarves inspired by Robert Rauschenberg for the Tate Modern. They created mood boards first and picked colours from there to create the striped woven design- no design images just colour proportions from the mood boards make up the design.
  • In much of their work the colour is the design- there are no images as such, the design is based on the colour and the way it is weaved.

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Cole and sons

“…innovative designs which help create beautiful, distinctive and inviting interior environments through colour and pattern.” –

  • Founded in 1875 by John Perry the company used block printing to make wallpaper for a number of notable houses including Buckingham palace and the Houses of parliament. The company was bought by A.P Cole in 1941 and inherited the largest archive of historical wooden printing blocks in the country. As part of its bespoke service customers can buy reproductions of historical designs in various colourways.
  • They have a range of collections- florals, geometrics, archive/vintage, stripes, curio
  • They use different designers for different collections, for example, Martyn Lawrence Bullard has designed collections with inspirations from merging eastern and western cultures.
  • They often revamp their archive designs using new colour palettes or foils, e.g. new contemporary two “a bold collection originally created in the 1950’s by artists defining the exciting post war period. Bright inspiring colours and the use of foils ensure that Contemporary 11 is as cutting edge today as the originals were back in the 1950’s and 60’s.” –
  • I don’t feel they have a signature way of using colour, they seem to go with current colour trends or with the designer’s inspiration colour themes. Many of their designs are available in a range of colours, again making me feel that it is the design, not the colour which is the most important aspect with this company.

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Norma Starszakowna

“…she focuses on the 3 dimensional surface qualities that can be achieved during the printing and dyeing process.”-


  • Very difficult to find any information on her processes or images of her work. She doesn’t appear to have her own website, or not that I could find. Considering the article below says she is one of the most exceptional textile artists in the country I am wondering why I can’t find information or images of her work? This link gives a detailed account of her childhood
  • “Norma Starszakowna is one such tutor. In six years the dazzling vividness of her students’ work in Dundee has alerted the design industry in Britain and overseas to the powerful creative verve pulsing in the textiles department at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art. Yet if it were otherwise it would be extraordinary for Starszakowna herself is acknowledged as one of the most exceptional textile artists in the country.”-
  • – Hinterland 2004 – just shows one image
  • – this link gives a little bit of information on her Diasporas piece
  • Pinterest had images of her work but most of the links were dead. From what images I have seen her work seems to suggest urban decay- using digitally printed organza and various other print medias to create textures that depict rust and neglect. Colours are neutrals, browns, greys, white with maybe a hint of colour here and there like a bright orange in amongst the rust colours.

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Paul Smith

“Smith’s greatest attribute is simplicity. He has described his designs as “well-made, good quality, simple cut, interesting fabric, easy to wear” and often adds a splash of vibrant colour, a floral print or his signature multi-coloured stripes.” –

  • a Good video where Paul Smith talks about how he uses Art Palette from google arts and culture. You can pick a colour or upload a photo and google will give you artworks that have the same colour palette. Smith uses these colour palettes and paintings to influence his designs.
  • He creates ‘simple’ clothes so he “uses colour as a punctuation mark”
  • His clothing designs are quite simple and tailored so it is the colour that gives the design its ‘pop’. Influenced by anything and everything he goes his own way with splashes of colour or bold prints or his signature stripes.

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“For over 170 years, Vlisco has created more than 350,000 original textile designs. Many of these designs have become cultural treasures, bestowed with special names and meanings by the merchants of Central and West Africa.

New designs are produced each year alongside traditional classics to hearten the new generation of Vlisco enthusiasts. Vlisco’s highly expressive and creative customers transform the fabrics into fashionable looks, which are one of a kind.

Inspired by Africa, made with a technique derived from Indonesian Batik, designed in the Netherlands, Vlisco’s heritage and design signature is a multicultural melting pot of beauty and industrial craftsmanship.”-


  • Founded in 1846 by Pieter Fentener Van Vlissingen when he took over the cotton printing mill that used block printing, in Helmond, The Netherlands
  • The original designs were based on batik that Pieter’s uncle Frits saw being made in a small factory in Java (Indonesia). Frits sent samples to Helmond asking if they could print imitation batiks (original batiks could take weeks or months to complete). He told Pieter to keep in mind that all the colours and patterns had their own codes. Certain colours indicated noble descent, clear white signified mourning or death and some of the parang patterns could only be worn by royalty. To recreate the colours they only used natural dyes like indigo and alizann.
  • “Intricate colour-use is an essential feature of a Vlisco design. The colouring on the Super-Wax fabric is created with a maximum of three blocking colours. By clever colour-application, our team builds up the palette one on top of the other. With this technique, depth is added and different parts of a design can be highlighted. This special blocking technique will have you thinking you’re looking at different designs. Only when you look closely, you will realise it is the same design.” –
  • Traditional indigo is still Vlisco’s most used dye even though their fabrics are available in a wide range of colours. They say that by using indigo it connects the fabric to the historical and cultural value of the dye.
  • Every season designers work on new colour cards to add to the designs. They still apply mainly traditional techniques to create deep and highly saturated colours that are not normally found elsewhere.

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Ptolemy Mann

“Channelling a modern-day Bauhaus philosophy of art and product making she emphasises the importance of colour theory to underline everything she does. A constant production and exploration of hand dyed and woven artworks during this time has enabled her to master her Ikat signature – a dip dyed warp technique for which she has become well known.” –


  • The Ptolemy Mann website was being re-vamped when I researched so was unavailable.
  • She is a weaver and her signature work is very linear and colour orientated with subtle graduations of colour which she achieves using the Ikat technique to dye her warp threads. (Ikat is a dyeing technique that uses resist dyeing on the yarns prior to dyeing and weaving the fabric.)
  • Her inspiration comes from modernism and abstract expressionists but also from landscapes and photography.
  • Her work is geometric and linear in design and I would say that colour was the more important aspect of her designs. She works with the transition of colours, using graduations of light to dark or vice versa and she says she is particularly interested in the ‘in-between’ colours that you pass through to get from one colour to the next.
  • Describing a floor runner she made for her home- It’s a “gelim” weave, an old technique that achieves a soft, feathered effect, a beautiful graduation of colour. The wool is dip-dyed through a series of dyes before weaving.-

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It was good to research how these different designers and companies use and apply colour. There was a varied range of designers to look at, covering traditional and more modern. I did find it difficult with some of the designers- especially Norma Starszakowna, in finding any information about her processes or even images of her work. This made it hard to explore how she uses colour.  In the Paul Smith video you can see him with yarn wraps comparing them to paintings just like students do in this assignment.





Tutor Feedback and my reflection for ATV Assignment 2

Formative feedback

Course/Unit A Textiles Vocabulary Assignment number 2

Type of tutorial Video

Assignment 2 and 4 Assessment potential

I understand your aim is to go for the Textiles Degree and that you plan to submit your work for assessment at the end of this course. From the work you have shown in this assignment, providing you continue to commit yourself to the course, I believe you have the potential to pass at assessment. In order to meet all the assessment criteria, there are certain areas you will need to focus on, which I will outline in my feedback.

 Summary of tutorial discussion

Sensitive paper manipulation with varied and playful exploration of media. You said you struggled with how to translate the drawings into manipulated paper but that effort to source new papers and employ different approaches is clear in the work. You have thoughtfully developed the marks and qualities of the drawings into creases, folds and patterns. Keep this new learning in mind even when you approach exercises which feel easier – keep searching for ways to do things differently.

The stitch enhances and extends the paper textures well. Occasionally the interaction between stitch and texture could have been more sympathetic – e.g. black thread overpowered the white-on-white texture below – but generally the stitch was sensitively applied.

Sketchbook vs. learning log

– The sketchbook is the place to document the process in depth. From looking through the sketchbook and samples we should be able to see the development of your ideas, what media and materials you’re testing, what you think about them and how you could develop them as well as how you actually develop them. You can include small swatches of materials and samples too. (Any chunkier samples can be kept separately.)

– Integrate your artist research into the sketchbook: Include small images of work which is inspiring and directly informing your own, followed by notes and drawings about how you could develop from it.

– Use the sketchbook as a place to have a conversation with yourself – to explore a range of options, test ideas, think through problems etc. It being a bit messy is fine – it should be an organic document. Use brief notes to evaluate the strengths/weaknesses in the work.

– You feel you’re spending much more than 20% on the learning log, in part because you have both a physical book and blog, but also because you are writing what you have done step by step. In the learning log entries, review and evaluate your work at the end of an exercise or a project (see notes below). You can write up your evaluation of the artist/ designer work in the log more fully. The log is where your academic writing skills are assessed, so whilst we want the discussion to feel personal, it will be more formal in tone than the sketchbook.

Improving evaluation

– Spending less time writing up what you did in your learning log will naturally focus your energy on summarising and evaluating.

– Your evaluation of the samples created in the assignment is good – you are specific about what you like and why.

– When evaluating, consider different perspectives: your own intuitive response; what the brief asked you to do and the different aspects within that (in the case of assignment 2: scale, placement, repetition); what others may think. If you really like a sample force yourself to analyse what could be improved; if you don’t like it, make yourself consider the strengths or areas which have potential. This will help you be more specific about exactly what you like and dislike, and build your ability to communicate your own work.


Thoughtful translation of drawn marks and details into paper and stitch qualities.

Sensitive selection and manipulation of materials.

Great that you include yarn wraps / material samples with the details of where they were from – this technical information is good to refer to in future

Areas for development

Evaluation – build on huge improvement made in Part 2 by differentiating the development and evaluation done in the sketchbooks and that done in the log.

Review use of learning log as above. (Don’t have both paper-based and blog.)

Your drawing is really strong so keep drawing in the sketchbook to think through your ideas. Draw from your samples to propose alterations or new versions.

Suggested reading/viewing


Now is a good point to consider presentation for assessment, so you can keep on top of this as you go. E.g. the paper manipulation samples could be simply collated into a series of folded paper wallets with an image of the original drawing to start each section. Look at:;;

Great that you’ve been engaging with the Facebook group and other students’ blogs. The key to not feeling worried about work other students are producing is to see more of it so you can be inspired by the range of different approaches, rather than how different theirs is to yours. Well done for getting your Instagram account started. Read:;

Pointers for the next assignment

• Reflect on this feedback in your learning log.

Tutor name Cari Morton

Date 29th March 2018


Reflection on feedback

This was my first video feedback session and I feel I gained more from this than just a written feedback as I was able to explain my thinking on certain samples and more fully understand the context of the feedback given by Cari.

I did struggle somewhat with translating the drawings into manipulated papers, but still keeping the link to the original piece. I understand that each project moves you forward from the last but I feel it should still be cohesive, you should still be able to see a link from the original piece you are working on, no matter how thin that link becomes as you move forwards. I could have made many different paper samples but they would not have been based on my drawings, so I had to work hard to push the boundaries and find new papers and methods to develop my pieces. Overall I was pleased with the outcome.

We discussed the black thread on the white textured sample and I could see once it had been pointed out that using white thread would have been more sensitive to the original drawing, a thought that had not occurred to me at the time of making the sample. This I will take forward as more experimentation needed on sampling.

We had a good discussion about the sketchbook and learning log. I was keeping a sketchbook, a separate book for the learning log with all my notes and annotations in and all my ‘messy’ thoughts, and also writing up more extensively the learning log book onto my learning blog. I feel I have a better understanding now of the different methods of recording my progress.

I still need to build on my evaluation skills and I have printed off some of the suggested articles to read through. I will also go back and arrange my samples into paper folders to make it easier at assessment.