Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hookers need values

man's practising is creating greatly improved photos regardless the subject

WHEW ! I look tired and I am. But I'm happy.
Woolgathering was yesterday and it was a very busy but fun filled day. There were tons of rugs and tons of treats and great products to look at and buy. People came from all over and it was wonderful to have them there.
I gave a program on using up your left over strips by sorting them according to value. I talked about using them just as they are, and I talked about re-dyeing them.
You can make very exciting events happen either way.

I'm afraid I lost my audience part way through this unfortunate program. When I tell people actual colour doesn't really matter, the value of the colour is what's key, frankly, they don't believe me. And I think this is where it happened, the losing I mean.

Also when I show them a dyed value scale in black and white and a crazily random coloured one and I tell them they are the same value wise and will act the same when hooked... well they want to call the men with the little van and the pretty white coats for me.

You believe me right? I think I'll make a slide show to further shore up my case for next time.

By considering what you are creating using the idea of values as your base to "colour plan", Thinking about what you want to hold weight or become more emphatic in your artwork and making these areas bold in value either light or dark you will save yourself a boat load of effort and even heart ache.

Ever had a place in a rug where there was trouble and you replaced it time and time again with a different colour but the same thing happened? You are getting different colours but they are all the same value so you still have the same problem.

Ever had a rug where you outlined something because it didn't show up? You are doing this latter day of course when the rug is almost done... what a strange afterthought tradition this is.
You could have anticipated and corrected this by considering the values you were using from the outset saving the outlining that looks like a Cinderella among her spoiled step sisters, and before you think I'm being harsh, I've done it myself before I knew the secret of values.

On top of being aware of values we want to use in what areas, we also need to be aware we are comfortable as individuals at certain points on the value scale real estate. Though our rug might long for value #8 trees ( quite dark ) in a value #2 snowy landscape (quite light), our idea of light starts at value #4 and we might only go as dark as #7. These are our comfort zones. So having to create a tree that is very dark might give us the heebie jeebies. Or using snow that is so light... well that won't feel good either.

All of us sacrifice our work on our own altar of personal colour preferences.
We create deadened works when they could be alive with glow and depth.
I gave the Woolgatherer's a challenge.
I gave them a couple of simple geo patterns. And I said use your scraps, value sorted in three groups, light, medium and dark to hook the pattern with multicolured 1 value wool in each section and create contrast.

4 people out of 60 said they would accept the challenge. Would you accept the challenge too?

Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
Discovery consists of looking at the same thing as everyone else and thinking something different.


  1. I hear you Wanda! Keep on please no matter how many are lost! At some point in every hookers career the light bulb goes on! You are a beautiful lady! Love that photo! Cathy G

  2. Thank you for this. I'm planning my first larger rug and your explanation is just what I needed to read. Visual examples would definately strengthen your presentation. Keep up the good work with your blog, I am learning a great deal from it.

  3. Wanda - don't stop repeating yourself....although I am sure that is gets tiring for you. Your insight and pic's are helpful and get us thinking in a different direction to achieve similar results.
    Just how big is this challenge piece and how many values are you suggesting to use?

  4. Dear Peggy,
    You can do this as small as you like, I will post the pattern in a moment in the blog. You need three distinct values. Of course that value might contain many colours. I'll give more info right directly.