Sunday, March 28, 2010

Beth/Lyric Project Week 7 (Value Contrast)

As a reminder to those of you that don’t normally keep up with my blog (if you do, skip to the next paragraph), I have started a project that I’m calling the Beth/Lyric Project. In the spirit of the movie “Julie/Julia,” (i.e. Julie working through Julia Child’s cookbook) I have decided to work through the exercises in Lyric Kinard’s “Art + Quilt, Design Principles and Creativity Exercises” book. My goal is to get at least one of the exercises done each week. I’ll be posting my progress on Sundays. I’d love for you to work along with me. If you decide to do that, please post and let me know how you’re doing—send pictures too! If you have trouble leaving a comment on my blog, email me at

This week’s project covered “Value Contrast.” We were to gather inspiration from taking some digital pictures and printing them in black and white. We were to look at "how the values of each picture create interesting compositions and observe how the compositions become more or less interesting without color but with value contrasts." I have to say, working without color is really hard for me. Choosing colors is one of my favorite things to do when I’m working on a quilting project. Limiting myself to one color palette in these projects has just about done me in. The interesting thing, though, is that I have definitely found out whole areas of color I’m missing in my stash.

I printed out several interesting blank-and-white photos. I folded and tore the paper into smaller sections to "focus on areas of interest to create new compositions" as I was instructed. I found that I didn’t really like any of the new compositions. I ended up sketching out some pictures at random. The first one I did turned out to be a big flop. I’ll show you that one at the end of the post and explain why (I think) it just didn’t work.

After deciding on a sketch to use I gathered "all the value of one color fabric” I could find, from very light to very dark. I found I had lots of darks and some mediums but VERY few lights. That made it hard to do this project. Eventually, I settled on purples. We were instructed to “make three versions” of our sketch in “fabric using three different value schemes.” Well, I didn’t do EXACTLY the same sketch, but I did pieces that were very closely related. I don’t think the difference in the composition takes away from seeing the value studies. This first picture illustrates a high-value study.

The next, represents a low-value study.

This last picture represents a high-value contrast study (which “consists of both light and darks and should be the most active and interesting of the three”).
Here is the first exercise I tried. It just didn’t work. I found that there just wasn’t enough difference in value between the fabrics I used (background and design elements) to distinguish them from one another.
Well, I hope you are learning something; I know I am. Check back next Sunday for next week’s exercise on “Value and Hue.” Come on…do it with me.

No comments: