This is the first gradation I've dyed so far. A warmer colour scheme than the last one, with golden yellow, bright scarlet and medium blue (Jacquard Procion MX dye). Click the tags Gradations, Dyecation, Procion MX and Frieda Anderson for more information about gradations. A lighter gradation (gradation 2, i.e.) is ready to be rinsed out, so I'll show you that one in my next blog post. What I like about working with these gradations is that it makes me mix colours that I know I would never have mixed if I had just been doing it on my own. And to my surprise I've realised that those colours that I thought I considered "ugly" are really very useful and not ugly at all. Bright or muddy, light or dark, they all have and deserve a place in the fabric stash!
First gradation, medium value (they look a bit lighter in this photo)
I mentioned a 'sad little square of surface designed fabric'. Well, to be fair, it's really not that sad, but I was a bit disappointed with it, as it didn't turn out the way I expected. I'll walk you through the process. And if you want more details and inspiration check out Melanie Testa's great article Cut from your imagination. Resist-printing fabric with paper 'snowflakes' in issue 21 of Quilting Arts Magazine.
First I printed a hand dyed piece of fabric with bubble wrap and discharge paste:
Then I applied a Magic paper (freezer paper) 'snowflake' resist:
Here's the result after applying fabric paint (dark green, metallic green and gold):
You can see the problem, right? What I should have realised when I was applying the paint is that I was working with the background. I think I would have got away with it if I'd stopped after the metallic green paint, but I felt like adding a bit of glitz, and that was too much. The gold paint jumps forward and since it's similar in value to the the resisted leaves, it obscures the resisted pattern.
I spent some time mulling over the problem and going through different ways to solve it and save the fabric, and this is what I ended up doing: I grabbed a green Multimark pen and drew in the contours of the resisted motifs.
I'm not wild about it, but it's better, it works, and it taught me a valuable lesson about contrast. Something I'm wild about, however, is the snowflake:
If I don't use it as resist in another piece, I'll glue this one into my sketchbook. I love the metallic sheen on the paper.
Thanks for following my adventures in surface design. There's more to come soon. Flour-resist. That's all I'm saying. ;-)
Have a great week! - Annika