Monday, November 24, 2008

Why we need dark, really dark

A week or so ago I posted an impromptu project of a copper hydrangea head.
So this wouldn't end up in the pile of great undones I worked here and there on finishing it.
I added two leaves and planned to use a dark background.

The leaves were hooked deliberately flat, meaning I only used one colour of wool for each leaf.
They did not look good.
They sat there sad and plain and almost ugly.
They also didn't do a thing for the florets.

But I hung in there, didn't rip them out.
I added my very dark background the other night.

Suddenly my flower bits looked hideous too.
Did I rip them out ?
OH NO my friend I stopped and looked and thought, this project is not sticking to it's theme of having a dark ground.
Wouldn't that dark be peeking through the little parts of the flower head ?
I hadn't made the dark bits around the petals dark enough.
I replaced some here and there and wow , what a difference it made to the piece.
It magically worked !

Without ripping out more than 10 strips.
It's the dark my friends.... or it might be the light or more importantly it is the careful noticing of colour impact on the whole idea.
You can't play enough with colour.

Here is what it looked like before

And after

Don't worry about that strange dark piece right in the middle of a violet flower, it is a bit of wool on the rug , not in it.

I think I could add a few more dark spots over in the corner.


  1. Wanda, I took a class with Abby Vakay and she said for a piece to really "sing" it needs to have dark, light, dull and bright. I think your pictures of your flowers shows this concept really well.

  2. TamboinMO,
    Thanks for your encouraging comments.
    This is a common old saw everybody tosses out- the light, the bright, the dull, the dark, but understanding what that means, taking it from head knowledge to heart and action knowledge is a HUGE HUGE leap. We all have certain ways we see thing due to our own colour inclinations. I thought I had dark enough spots in there before, and I am a daughter of darkness..... but obviously I fell a few values short, will I ever learn ?
    I guess if it's important to me I will.