Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Paper Sketches

Some of you might wonder why I am doing so much design stuff right now.  I am currently in the midst of assisting a friend with her sculpture exhibition.  See details here. Here is a picture of part of the sculpture, but it's one of those things you actually need to see to understand.

We have spent a few days getting everything ready to travel to the big city.  This was a large job as the sculpture, which my Husband also worked on, is extremely large.  They went ahead and took it to Federation Square, in Melbourne, where it is to be exhibited and I will join them tomorrow, coming home for quilting on Saturday, then returning Sunday, so I really haven't the time at the moment to get any stitching or experimenting done.  Next week! 

Another design tool I use, particularly for landscapes, is paper sketching.  Not sketching on paper, but making a simple collage with paper.  It frees you up from being too fiddly and accurate and helps to simplify designs.
The paper sketch can be as simple -
Or as complicated as you like.
Here are a few more-
 All that I do is rip pieces of paper to a basic shape and stick it down.  It makes me keep to a narrow palette of colours.  The reason I find this useful is that one of the hardest parts of landscapes is getting them simplified.  If you start with detail, you will soon find that the elements of the landscape don't fit together.  What I do is get a simple landscape together that works well, then add elements to it.
As you can see, I might add a few lines to help me later on, and notes about what the parts are.
Here is another sketch, but one that illustrates what I was talking about yesterday, that cropping and framing makes a big difference.
 This is a sketch of the Twelve Apostles, near Lorne in Vic. Aust.  It doesn't look particularly balanced and is a bit confusing to look at.
Here is the same picture, but cropped.  It makes an huge difference to the picture, even at this design stage, so as well as stepping back from your work (and squinting can help), also photograph it at various stages and frame or crop it before you judge it's merits.