Going to desperately try to update about the course, and still have time for a bath, and still be in bed in time not to feel too bad getting the bus at 7.13am in the morning. So style may be sacrificed.
(Tutor Dominique L'Olive on the right)
It's really hard to reflect on what we're learning and whether it's doing me good or not, because it really has been wham, wham, wham. Clearly the tutor knows her stuff, and has worked in the industry, and has a wealth of experience to pass on to us. I've been largely well within my comfort zone, mark making, etc, but a bit cowed by mention of big brand practices and normalities within the industry that I'm very naive about.
We spent yesterday and most of today going through a number of techniques, some of which I've used before, but which I think it's good to have someone tell you to use, because I never would have bothered to revisit them on my own. Some are well known, others are ones the tutor stumbled upon herself when she was working, and they include:
Laying down even grounds (ie one-colour backgrounds)
Stencil-making from photo copies and using dry brushes so as not to damage them
Making rubber stamps: top tip, use sheets of neoprene, as sold in craft shops, UHU'd to balsa wood. Tutor remarked that Item might enjoy this and indeed Item was very excited at the idea.
Bleaching out ink
Gesso to add texture
Masking fluid and other types of resist such as candles and oil pastels
All the above in various combinations
Yesterday was more messy; today, with the stencils and the stamp-making, was tighter work. Now, note that this:
is the sort of stuff I produce on my own - we were asked to choose a colour palette and doodle around our theme on the first morning. But, I can loosen up on command, and when it comes to bleach and oil pastels and resists it is very hard to stay tight. So this is the kind of thing my sketchbook is now full of:
Which, fine, but I guess I started to panic a wee bit, because while I can see its value (and "it has value" is the tutor's best praise so far, while "It doesn't have value" is as damning as she gets) it isn't the sort of stuff I want to produce whatsoever - nor was it to my theme either, but let's gloss over that just now.
Here are some slightly neater experiments:
Note that for these two days there's been no pressure whatsoever to produce anything worthwhile - it's all about the experimentation. Good thing too in my case.
My stand-out learnings so far have been the rubber stamps, and the uses of an inch-wide brush, with which you can make the kind of stripes you see in the backgrounds of the above picture.
Oh yes, that, and the basic styles that make up a collection. We now have until midday Friday to produce four designs on our theme. All must use the same colours and techniques, though we may amplify/mute them in each piece to different degrees. We must include one border, one stripe, one 'all over' and one 'ditsy'. We may present them depicted on simple clothing shapes (which I will do) or on housewares such as cups, jugs etc. I got a few ideas down this afternoon and I think I'm going to be fine. I *think*. These are much, much tighter, so I feel more in control. I'm going to use rubber stamps and stencils and I do believe I am going to be drawing four items of clothing that I would run to buy if I saw them for sale.
But don't quote me on that; I might have changed my mind tomorrow when I'm pulling my hair out.
I am still so in love with this college.
Not shown here, my excellent rubber stamp work.
We haven't done repeats at all. I must remember to ask about that.
Right, bath, bath, I am such a grub with all this train travel (oh, actually, talking of train travel, need to post my sketches from the train).