Category Archives: ACA assignment2

Assignment 2 – Review

Assignment 2 – Review

My learning log for Assignment 2 is at — 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:

A2: Proj4 Stage 3 and Stage 4

A2: Proj4 Stage 3 “Selecting from drawings” and Stage 4 “Developing design ideas”

I combined these two exercises and found new images and drew my versions of them for design ideas.



did you manage to make space move?
I’m not sure. in some of the drawings I think it did, but in others, it didn’t really — some of them are too “flat”

what are your thoughts about the drawings you did in stage 1?
I can see how the eye’s attention and focus is drawn around the page by the placement of the black squares on the page. and the use of single versus multiple squares. it highlights the idea of using whitespace, and how to draw focus for the objects.

were you able to use your drawings successfully as a basis for further work? are there any other things you would like to try?
some of them. I’d like to try more techniques other than creating patterns as I think i seem to draw patterns too often. these can be useful, though it’s good to be able to draw other objects well also. I think I should also practice more drawings for designs as I tend to draw a lot of disparate objects/shapes and then have an idea for a design which isn’t directly developed from the work. there are some aspects which work their way through, though I think a person would need to look at lots of my other work to see this. it’s less obvious than being able to show direct progression of an idea sketched out. I need to work on this more.

now that you have a good working method, do you feel confident that you can carry on working in this way independently?
I think so. after spending so long on this assignment, I think I have finally got into the practice of working on a drawing/sketchbook page each night or every second night. I think the more I practice this, the more my work improves.

A2: Proj5 – stage 4 – a larger sample

A2: Proj5 – stage 4 – a larger sample

I created a “single unit” piece based on a motif. the background is mono printed by hand, and there’s an image of a stylized face hand drawn using fabric sharpie pens over the top of the background. the image is based on an image by Jim Avignon.

I combined a tribal motif border around the image of the face. I was influenced by a photo of a tribal patterned top that I found on the internet when searching for “tribal patterns”. also I was influenced by Hundertvasser with the colours chosen, and brightness of the colours. I’d seen “Hundertwasser’s toilets” in Kawa Kawa not far from Auckland, earlier this year, and enjoyed seeing his use of bright colours, and wonky, stylized lines. I’d tried some of his style of work in my sketchbook, and had been using some of the patterns in the final piece in exercises throughout this assignment, so it was a matter of combining them altogether.


originally I was planning to use my gocco printing machine to print smaller versions of the face as a border onto the fabric as a repeating pattern. but I couldn’t get the prints to work properly – I tried over a few days, and tried to fix it but didn’t have any luck. I have printed using the gocco previously though it was onto paper, and I used the gocco ink instead of fabric ink, so that might have been part of the issue also. I think my image was too detailed, and I should have printed it on the black and white printer to get a better source image. I’ve included the sample prints onto paper in my assignment folder, and here, below. the paint was too thick in some areas and too much paint went through the screen. once the paint dried, it did make some interesting marks. but it wasn’t any use for my larger sample. so I had to change my design and hand draw the original image onto the mono printed background instead.





here’s photos of the final print of the larger sample:

without an arm:

final print – I added an arm:


do you feel you made a good selection from your drawings to use as source material for your design ideas? which interpretations worked best? why?

yes, I think I chose an image with a good selection of colours and a graphic element as well as a textured and blended background. I added the face and patterns to make the background image more interesting as I thought it might be too plain without something extra. although I did like the background prints in themselves too. but adding the image also turned the background into a “story” of sorts. if you look at the cloth from a distance, it appears as if the girl is standing next to water – perhaps a lake or stream. in one view she has a border around her face, but it also appears as if she’s taking a photo of herself – a “selfie” of her face, and not looking too happy about it. I thought this was interesting as a comment on how many people take “selfies” these days — showing off themselves, even though they might be in a beautiful scenic area. (though some selfies have a background also — such as tourist photos)

which fabrics did you choose? what particular qualities appealed to you?

I chose calico for the fabric as it had responded so well to the mono prints during previous tests. the weave is thick enough to hold the paint, and still take on the colour. I also like the base muted cream colour and the affect it has on the paint, rather than using a white background.

is the scale of the marks and shapes on your samples appropriate to the fabric? would any of your ideas work better on a different type of fabric, for example, sheer, textured, heavyweight? why? do the marks and shapes seem well placed, too crowded, or too far apart? were you aware of the negative shapes that were forming in between the positive shapes? what elements are contrasting and what elements are harmonising in each sample. is there a balance between the two that produce an interesting tension?

yes, I think the scale of the marks is appropriate to the fabric. I think the print could have also have worked on a plain cotton fabric, and a heavyweight cotton fabric, as it would make it stiffer/more stable. the design is not suited to a sheer or textured fabric though as the paint would not hold properly on the sheer fabric as the weave is too wide – the paint would disappear through the holes. textured fabric would have too much detail already and not be suitable for this design. I was aware of the negative shapes in the tribal border / pattern framing the face. I did this intentionally to make the image more striking and to draw attention to the face. I think the image is in contrast to the background, but this makes it stand out more. the background colours and blends of the prints are harmonised with each other. I think there is a balance between the background and image, but perhaps this is a subjective view.

how successful do you think your larger sample is? do you like the design? have you recreated or extended your ideas from the smaller samples so that there is a visible development between the two? does your repeating design flow across the surface, without obvious internal edges, or do the shapes and marks in your single unit sample relate well to the size and shape of the fabric? do they make an interesting composition on this larger scale?

I don’t mind the design — I think it’s suitable for a wall hanging or perhaps home furnishing fabrics such as sheets or curtains. I think the background print is an extension of the test prints I did, and the image is an extension of some of my sketchbook work. I think the image and scale of shapes in the background are suited to the size of the fabric. I think it makes an interesting composition as it is something different. I didn’t enjoy doing stencils so I didn’t create an repeating pattern sample.

A2: Proj4 – stage 2 – experimenting with techniques

A2: Proj4 – stage 2 – experimenting with techniques

Note: this section is not numbered as a separate Project, but it had Stages 1-2, so I’ve called it Proj4z on my blog to keep the posts ordering in order.

in this exercise, I experimented with lots of printing techniques.

blotted line printing
I like this sort of printing as it is a style that Andy Warhol used during his early commercial art career. he used to print multiple versions of his drawings for clients and colour them in different colours to show them. this helped him to get more work, as he had multiple options for his clients.

it’s fairly slow work. you draw an image, then draw it onto tracing paper. then tape the tracing paper adjacent to where you want the print to appear. fold it over so you’re working on the underside of the tracing paper. then apply ink to the drawing on the tracing paper. and then fold it back onto the page, and it prints the lines. it also leaves “blotted lines” ie lines made up of small dots and ink blobs. you should only ink a small section at a time as the ink dries quickly so you can only “print” a small section at a time.

my prints have quite large “blots” compared to Andy Warhol’s prints, but I had read that he practiced this technique for months, every day, late into the night. so I can be forgiven for my attempts. I spent about a week altogether on this technique, and it’s one I like the look of, so it’s something I’d do again on future work.

I made some others too – see “Andy Warhol’s blotted line print drawings” under “play” menu


block printing

I tried a few types of block printing, using different objects from around the house to create textures and shapes — bubble wrap, rigatoni pasta, a wooden peg.


lino cut prints

I also tried a lino cut print — I carved a simple shape into the lino and printed a few copies. I didn’t get an even coverage of the paint though I actually prefer some of the “ghost prints” as they have more shading and texture.


other masks and stencils

I also tried using a strip of lace as a mask, and printed with this in orange and black. I think this looks quite effective.


and some random prints with objects such as a dried leaf, a woven grass spiral I’d made at another workshop.

mono prints

and then I started mono printing using my newly arrived gelli plate to print from. this is so much fun. I’d done a short class on “gelli plate printmaking” with Carla Sonheim so had some great ideas from this.


I even like the “cleaning prints” — where I put a page down to clean the gelli plate and pulled a print from it.


some later mono prints — one is using a leaf as a stencil/mask


mono prints onto fabric

hand printing onto fabric and using paintsticks

I tried a couple of these, but preferred the mono printing.



I tried some marbling too on paper and fabric

on paper:

on fabric:

marbling – in progress photos:


transfer printing

I also tried a transfer print — one using gel medium and the other using sticky tape


tea dyeing

I tried dyeing some small strips of fabric in tea — black tea and rosehip tea. it looked great in the liquid but the colours are quite muted once the fabric dried


silk painting

I also tried some hand painting onto silk. I masked off areas with gutta to try stop the paint spreading. by the end of the painting session I was getting the hang of it, but the initial attempts are not very neat.

A2: Proj4 Stage 2 – exercise 1

A2: Proj4 Stage 2 – exercise 1

Drawings showing different aspects of the marked off area of some images — surface textures, colours, the main shapes. Using a variety of marks and materials and techniques.

original images:

my work on the exercises. I used different materials to try capture the textures, colours and shapes of the original images.