woven eyes

testing some woven eyes for my bees. these have a matte black circular warp threaded into cut fabric (calico in the first test), and shiny black stranded thread for the circular weft, travelling across and around the eye. I used the shiny thread to simulate the shinyness of a bee’s eyes, and woven circles to remind of the multiple cells / lenses of the bees’ eyes.

I learnt this technique from jude hill on her wonderful “considering weave” class / project

the first one didn’t work out as i’d threaded both ways instead of one way only.

but the next sample worked out as I had hoped (seen in my mind) so i was happy about this.

bee sketches for stitching

a few more bee sketches in different media — I’m thinking of trying some of these in stitch (a cross between junko oki’s work and jude hills’ work such as this circle & the final piece in ‘considering weave’ — my own interpretation of it) and also as the fabric manipulation exercises for assignment 3. (to save time, and work on theme practice plus exercises at the same time).

basket weave for eyes

plus some other general sketches — I’m also trying to practice sketching things from my day or local area. some are done in a small notebook whilst out and about.

I still haven’t separated my theme book from regular sketch book — must work on this. it’s just more convenient to put everything into one book..


general sketches:

sketching and seeing

i think I’ve been improving with some of my sketching.. or rather seeing. I think i’m starting to see things differently – the shapes and lines rather than only the overall shape and outline. still a lot of practice to do, and there’s still plenty of fails, but when i concentrate more on looking and seeing and not the drawing, I end up being happier with the drawings. something to remember going forwards..

update 22/11/2014: see this later post on draw what you see and not what you know

bee sketches

i’ve read ahead a little this time and on the flight tonight started a couple of bee drawing exercises. i have a new lamy (med) pen and it’s lovely to sketch with! would like to try the fine & extra fine next too. I only had one sketchbook so I’ll need to transfer the pages to my theme book (and hope i didn’t wreck it by drawing on both sides of the paper..)

i did a few separate body parts that I’d seen on an amazing closeup photo found whilst googling “bees” images.

this is the original close up photo and bee photo and honeycomb photo. i combined a couple of these in my drawings. i made some notes about how i can see the tests in my head. some black satin, hand stitching, shiny white/clear fabric, fraying for the hairs, woven circles for the eyes, some stitches I think will work for centre cirlce on the back and antannea, plus more. i can see it in my head, so I just need to get it to work in reality now!

via bee portraits – sam droege
— bee google image search. I hope to draw more of his photographs, as they are amazing. the colours!

via can bees be trained to sniff out cancer — bee google image search

via cavity bee — bee google image search

the black bee is the cavity bee — Communal Mining – Andrena Carantonica. I’ll try some overseas honeybees and the native Australian bees also to show the yellow/gold and black/brown. also, i need to post about the bee houses made of flower petals – some of the most beautiful things I’ve seen.

and here’s my sketches:
i hope this is the sort of progression / background drawings that should be in my theme book.. ie not just the final pieces? i think i didn’t do enough of this in assignment 2 (or make it clear enough) so want to try focus more on this for subsequent assignments (& try be less distracted by other things)

still not sure if bees is enough for a theme yet. maybe birds and bees? though birds scope could be too wide.. maybe i’ll use the birds for assignments 3 exercises to practice techniques and keep bees as my theme. need to make a decision!!


this is another bird drawing, based on one made of sticky tape that a sketching artcamp classmate made. i like it’s pose, though hers looks much nicer.

i’ll try some colour versions during the week if i have time in the hotel – expecting late nights at work this week. 🙁 and try sort out a dedicated theme book too

crazy birds

crazy birds is a tutorial from Carla Sonheim. I tried it tonight. it’s a good exercise to help “free up” your drawing and lines. and can be done with kids, as well as adults (kids at heart?)

you start with two pieces of paper. draw circles on one, flower shape / petals on another. cut into quarters and arrange onto the page and draw in the bird shape. use a variety of materials

I think I could try this exercise using fabric also instead of paint

footpath shapes drawings

another exercise I learned from one of Carla Sonheim’s classes, is to practice seeing shapes — animals and other things, in the cracks and lines and shadows on the footpath and other places. I think this might be a type of pataphysical drawing exercise too.

collating some of them here — most a “imaginary animals” or “blobimals” as it’s fun to draw them, and they seem to be everywhere once you start looking! it’s like finding animals in the clouds.

some I’ve done:

and some shapes I’ve collected and am yet to draw the “blobimals”:
some are obvious, and others less so..

ipad drawings

sometimes I don’t have my drawing materials with me so I’ve started making quick drawings on the ipad. collating them here..

some are freehand scribbles / warm up drawings and others I trace photos on different layers — selecting which lines/details to include in the drawing.

Assignment 2 – Review

Assignment 2 – Review

My learning log for Assignment 2 is at http://www.explorationsintextiles.com/assignment2 — there are links to the exercises on this page. You can also access the pages via the menus — see Textiles1 – Assignment 2.

Assignment 2 — Review

I enjoyed this assignment and most of the exercises, though I though there was some repetition in the exercises and some of the instructions were a bit ambiguous and unclear. I liked exploring colour and seeing how the colours were created and combined, and being able to reproduce and match colours to other images and objects. I also enjoyed learning more about watercolour painting and how to use watercolour to layer colours to blend them and create new colours. It was good to try many other techniques also and to be encouraged to use different media in some of the exercises to see how they can change the way the image looks, and the feel of the image.

I also enjoyed the stitching for the course too. at the time I thought I’d done a lot of work on it, but looking back it seems as though my samples are quite small. I am just very slow at stitching, so this is something I’d like to explore more when I have more time. I also enjoyed working in my sketchbook more, and I feel that I’ve made a bit of progress with this now as I am working in it more regularly and can even see improvement on the work in my sketchbook from when I began this topic, to now. I loved doing the printing exercises too.

It was good to explore different printing techniques and try them out. my favourites are the blotted line prints, and the monoprinting. In my final larger sample I added some hand drawing also to show another technique. Overall I’ve enjoyed the assignment / topics. I think this assignment required quite a lot of work — even more than the first one. I think that I have overdone some of the exercises, and perhaps not done enough work on others. I was away from home for 60% of this year due to work and personal travel, so it was often difficult to work on the exercises when I didn’t have all my materials with me. I look forward to the next assignments, and trying to finish the course before the allocated time!

A2: Proj5 – stage 3 – printing and painting on fabric

A2: Proj5 – stage 3 – printing and painting on fabric

see also previous exercise, printing and painting experiments for other printing and painting work that I did.

painting and printing onto silk:

painting and printing onto calico:

I concentrated mostly on mono printing using the gelli plate for the printing tests on other fabrics. not all of them worked out, which was to be expected, since not all the fabrics were suitable for printing. the cotton based fabrics worked best. the shiny, slippery fabrics didn’t work very well – they didn’t hold the paint. I left some of the original fabric showing, so I could see what the original fabric was.

a variety of different types of fabric: