Rug Hooking and Outlines - More Pretty Girls than One.
With the kind permission of my good and faithful colourists in the Colour Lab, The Welcome Mat's subscription online colour course, I'm sharing August's lesson with you here.
In these lessons I draw attention to and reveal how finding out about and knowing certain things about colour can make better hooking, hookers and at very least one who knows how to fix their own colour problems.
The best thing to remember? There are more choices than you might think, there are more pretty girls than one!
Here it is, feel free to do your rendition(s) of this assignment if you want. Use it for your rug group, please give full credit though.
As a rug hooker sometimes our projects require us to make soft edges and other times we need a hard edge. But there is so much interplay between these two with colour it is hard to know what colour tool to use to outline for these effects.
Wondering where you might need a soft edge and where a hard edge might be more useful?
I'm still learning about this but I realized there was something damn crazy about this rug I made.
I realized last year after it came home to me from travelling, it was an edge issue. My face has very soft edges, but the background has hard edges ( open water). Oops! I should be in sharper focus but I'm not and it is making a dip and dive effect, what's in front doesn't look as distinct as what's behind. ( if you squint it will, try it!) In particular the open water should not be so hard edged and could do with a softening effect with additional mottling though some is present.
I should start calling it my puzzle rug, you gotta puzzle out where to look!! LOL
Often we want to soften a colour to lead to another, like in a sunset. A very bright yellow segueing into a softer orange... or we may need the top edge of a forest look feathery, you can do it with one fell swoop by choosing the good colour to outline with.
I'm going to switch the language now too, I'm not going to use the word outline because it brings up circumstances when we just plug some wool in a line to separate something from another. I'm not talking about the outline of the last resort. I'm thinking about the beautiful seductive choice of colour as you hook to lead the eye into the atmosphere you wish to show. I'll use the word lining just for this exercise so we remember we are exercising something entirely new.
No matter what kind of hooker we are or hooking type we practise we all need to use lining well.
Here I have made you an sampler with yellow as my colour to line.
Each block represents a new "style" of lining.
The whole has been hooked with nylons but that was due to using my scraps and the heat, you can do this with wool or any medium, the effect will remain the same.
has yellow outline with its complementary color, violet.
An area of colour will most often appear stronger, vibrant when surrounded by the complement.
(As an extra bonus task for discovery, try using light purple, duller purple and see what ensues) We do not use this effect much with rug hooking.
has a black outline and it creates both a jewel like quality to the colour yellow and makes a strong "fence" around it. It contains the colour keeping it well separated. We see this in stained glass.
has a white outline. The edges are not contained at all because white is close to yellow in value but aside from that it just lets the colour run out, it will take on colour from around it. It will make darker colours appear smaller.
This is a great trick for reflective qualities like glass and mirrors, water and all sunlit things. We seldom use this type of lining in rug hooking.
has a darker value of yellow outline, this is creating a soft edge, can you see it? We can do with more of this lining too. It can create a glowing centre and allow the lighter centre to ease into the background making for soft edges. It can define your central colour more.
has a lighter value line. You can see it provides emphasis for the centre colour and allows it to expand but not be so bold. It softens too. It can soften your centre colour if the effect of it is too strong.
has no line so you might compare effects.
Here is what I want to see hooked:
7 well spaced one colour blocks
Line them as I did.
Darker Value Line
Lighter Value Line
The last 4 should use the same colour family as the centre colour please.
Surround all blocks with one of the three medium values from the gray scale to make a panel.
Don't worry about precision in hooking, as you can see, I didn't care.
Object of this lesson:
To understand the cause and effects of a plethora of outlining. To learn how to deliberately test out outlining to discover which effect will be most useful to you.
To help you help yourself.
Of course there is much to explore in this lesson but I've left that info off out of respect for my Colourist's commitment to this class.
Hook long and in deliberate colour!
BTW If you are interested in taking part in the Colour Lab, 13 lessons on the effective and artistic use of colour in rug hooking, a year long colour course of study with tons of interplay between you and I, write me. It changes how you hook.
Ps Mary... she ate her babies.
Thea had hers, Mary has only managed a lick so far.
I sewed an amazing collection of garments this summer.
I dug my artistic retreat class, what beautiful things arose!
I dug my enrichment class, ended up being much enhanced myself.
We Wiarton hookers are astudying this fall and winter. Two Thursday for hooking and two for true classes- right now punch hooking. We are using the patterns you have access to when you join the Welcome Mat. We are undergoing terrific changes there to follow our hearts, to create a studio environment for woolworkers for artistic and creative growth. Where you ask questions and we answer.
Ok this is possibly the longest blog post and PS ever written. I guess I'll end by saying I'm back blogging come hell or highwater. Hold onto your hats. And for goodness sake comment from time to time so I don't mistake this blog for a black hole, I get so confused.
PPS If you go to the Welcome Mat you can no longer see what up on there. it has gone private.
No longer visible from outer space. Also of interest, no more preview during a free month. There is pure gold in there, you gotta pay to look at anything good and it is great due to my members!