Thursday, February 19, 2015

Is There More Than One Shade of Gray?

     Are you tired of hearing about the shades of gray yet? I guess it depends on the context. I needed a sitting human figure for one of my quilts and I needed it to be a gray. But I needed it to be a greenish blue gray. The only college art class I got to take was Painting 101 and I took it only a few years ago. It was a very useful class for my art quilts. We spent a huge amount of time studying gray. We had to mix our own. The teacher could tell if we made our gray by mixing white paint with black paint. That was a big no no. We had to make our grays by mixing cadmium red light with ultra marine blue and then add white. Sometimes you need to throw in a little cadmium yellow if it has a purple tinge. We could make warm grays by having more cad red or make cool grays by having more of the blue. I learned to love all the hues of gray. I actually got (and still do) very excited when I mix a particularly wonderful hue of gray.
     One of the assignments was to paint a color wheel. It took hours and hours to get it right. It was a major homework assignment. I refer to it often to choose colors and to figure out how to mix colors. What a great class to take even though it was nothing about quilts or fiber.
my color wheel from class
      Today, I got out my paints, GAC 900, my gelli plate, some white cotton muslin, and various texture tools.
paints I used today
Notice that I used all sorts of brands of paints. I use whatever is on sale. I do mix them with GAC 900 fabric medium from Golden so that they play well with fabric, though. My first prints were a little greenish, but soon I had the right fabric.



one fabric
another fabric
Then I cut out the figure that I needed and tried it out on my quilt. It looked exactly the right color and texture.
Sitting on white paper
I won't show it yet on the quilt until the quilt is finished. The answer to the question is that yes, there is more than one shade of gray. And it is fun to mix gray. I strongly advise you to buy some cadmium red light, ultramarine blue, cadmium yellow light, titanium white, fabric medium, and play. For fabric, you can use old bed sheets, old shirts, or you can buy white muslin or any other white fabric. I'm linking this to Off The Wall Friday where you can find other art quilt blogs. Please make comments on the artists' posts so that they know you stopped by. Thanks for visiting.

20 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I made sure to write down its recipe, but I doubt that I can make it again exactly the same.

      Delete
  2. Definitely must get the right shade of gray or things look all wonky. You found a great shade and the texture is fun. What does the fabric medium do? I've been painting on fabric lately with mixed success and I think part of my problem is I don't know anything about paint.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The fabric medium makes the paint absorb into the fabric better and leaves the fabric with more of a natural hand than if you just use the acrylic paint without the fabric medium. I use a ratio of about 1:1 paint to medium. You can go to Golden's website to read about the product and email them to ask them questions about it.

      Delete
  3. It looks like stone - a wonderful grayish mix! And yes I am really tired of hearing about 50 shades, I don't know if it's a sign of me getting old, but I thought the book was boring. I quit about 1/3 way thru

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for noticing that. I wanted it to have a stone texture since he will be sitting next to a rock cairn. I got the texture by pressing a piece of fabric/paper onto the painted Gelli plate. The fabric/paper was from the exam garment we get to wear at our annual gyn exam. It has a marvelous bumpy texture. The doctor didn't quite understand what I meant when I asked if I could keep it because I'm an artist. She asked if I was going to use it for a Halloween costume. :)

      Delete
  4. I like the idea of mixing all those grays yourself, since I most likely would have gone the black and white route. You have achieved a lovely shade and your color wheel is a gem!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I forgot to mention that I even mix my grays with Shiva paintstiks using the same starting colors on freezer paper with a palette knife. I only own about ten colors of the paintstiks and then mix all the other colors using the ten. I need to write that in a blog post.

      Delete
    2. Yes, please do write a blog post about mixing Shiva paintsticks!

      Delete
    3. Sue, I will do a post eventually about mixing Shiva paintstiks to get new colors.

      Delete
  5. It does seem that mixing the grey this way gives it more depth,. Grey can look so flat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your greys will never look flat if you mix them yourself.

      Delete
  6. Thanks for the tutorial about greys. I think I would like to play with this.
    Sandy in the UK

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you will learn the joy of grey. Have fun.

      Delete
  7. Fascinating, Regina. Love the texture you achieved. In my stack of fiber art reference books I have a small book given to me by my father-in-law on mix colors to achieve another. He used to manage the adult community night classes in his town. The painting teacher gave him the book. I can't tell you how many times I refer to it when I want to achieve this or that color. Once you start mixing the world opens up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's wonderful to have a treasured book that is so useful.

      Delete
  8. This is good information on using paints and mixing colors....thanks for sharing it! I use paint on fabrics occasionally and have a fabric medium for adding but glad to know of another one to try. Joni Beach

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I use Golden because it was recommended to me. Which one do you use and are you happy with it?

      Delete

Your comment is appreciated and will be posted after it is approved.