Aid for helping You create Dimension in Textiles

Posted by Ruth on 23 January 2015 | 0 Comments

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Did you ever wonder how I get dimension in my still life textiles? Today I'm going to share with you a tool that I work with and that I'm sure you all have. It's simply, your camera. I took this excerpt from my Still Life class to share with you. 

How Do We Create Dimension?

Let’s take this purple vase as an example. We will be using this example throughout the lesson. If you were asked to describe a vase, you would say it was one color - purple. If I cut out a solid piece of purple fabric in the shape of the vase, it would not be dimensional at all, but rather flat and lifeless. That is not what we want, so let’s take a closer look.

vase photo flat shape

The fabric cut out is a flat lifeless shape with no dimension compared to our photo

How do we create dimension? The camera can help us here. Look closely at the photo below. You can see the vase does not photograph as one color of purple but looks made up of various values and shades of purple. You can see that the shadows are very dark purple, and where the light hits the vase, it becomes very pale in comparison. We use this visual information to create dimension. We can divide the vase into sections of color value, using different fabrics for each section and this will create the same sense of dimension we see in the photograph.

color values vase applique

Shadows are dark purple while highlights are pale (left);  
finished applique shape with colors divided into value sections

This may seem overwhelming right now, but I will be showing you some tools to help us to differentiate between these values to create our appliques.

As you can see, light and shadows are essential elements in the creation of a dimensional work of art.  To get the best advantage of how the light hits an object, it is best to choose a rounded object such as a vase or piece of fruit. 

Flat objects never work as well for this type of work because of the way the light hits them.  Something like the candle shown below would be difficult to start with whereas our vase example is perfect and you will be much happier with the overall result.


You can see how this pyramid candle has flat surfaces and is not so easy to create good dimension with

In my class I go on to show you just how to transform your photo into usable applique shapes, but also, if you do not want to create your own Still Life, I have a number of templates you can try just to learn the techniques I use. I always enjoy seeing the end results either you create your own or use the templates I provide.

One of my favorite pieces that I've made using the techniques learned in class, are these pears. I can just image how these could look in different colors. Now there's a thought!still life 3

More About Still Life Online Class: I am sure you have all heard of the Masters in art, such as Alfred Sisley, Renoir, Dario Campanelli and Monet with their famous still life paintings. In this class we will learn to transform similar still life using textiles. We begin by learning to make templates from a photo, which I have supplied or you may use your own. Step by step instructions guide you how to do this with ease using the free graphic program read more....


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