Number 30!!! Yippee!!! Seriously, I really do need to spice it up a bit. I’ve been thinking design variety. You know, different ways to introduce some variety in my stitched drawings. Specifically, I’ve been looking at how to create pencil-like sketches with some color in them. That’s not to say, the stitched drawings without color I’ve previously created lacked design variety. I did incorporate design variety in those earlier pieces by doing things like varying values of thread colors and stitch density.
But I think it’s time to bring it up a notch. If you noticed, starting in episode 27, I began to introduce color to the black and white stitched drawings. I’ve been exploring that angle somewhat. So this episode is all about introducing color to my black and white stitched drawings.
I started with this pencil sketch. As you know, I like to draw in pencil before fabric because it offers many benefits, including the opportunity to learn the details of my drawing. The sketch is not of any realistic scene. It’s just a set of odd-shaped jars. It reminds me of the kind of assortment of shapes you’ll find in a spice cabinet. How very appropriate to be thinking spice cabinet when I want to spice up my stitched drawings.
In recent days, I find myself thinking more design than technique. For the most part, I’ve figured out the technique of creating stitched drawings. Of course, there’s always something new to learn.But I find myself itching to go back to basics and to concentrate on what makes a strong composition.
In that vain in the previous episode, I wrote about how I focused on design unity to create a stronger composition by using fewer rather than more colors. To spice it up in this design, I’m thinking design variety. The purpose of design variety is to add interest. So instead of using only greyscale thread colors, I’ve decided to color part of the design using both fabric and thread colors other than greyscale (specifically neon green)
I think I’ve managed to achieve a good balance between design variety and design unity. The similar shapes of the jars create unity in the piece and also, the predominantly greyscale color scheme reinforces this unity. Variety is achieved by the different heights and sizes of the jars. Shapes although similar, are not exactly the same, thus introducing another element of variety. Finally I used color to spice it up and take design variety up a notch.
Tips, Tools & Techniques: Design Variety
Design variety can be hard to achieve when you’re thinking design unity. They’re like opposite to each other. The way to achieve design variety without sacrificing unity is to keep some things constant, repeating them to create unity, while slightly varying a few things without breaking the unity. Breaking the unity will result in a confusing design. It’s a balancing act.
Elements You Can Vary to Create Design Variety (interest) in A Stitched Drawing
- Distance between stitch lines
- Thickness of stitches
- Values of Thread Colors (Have more values and less colors to balance unity)
- Shape (straight lines versus curved lines)
Questions: How have you used design variety in your work? Do you consider this principle when creating a piece of work? Share your thoughts below.
Watch and read about the entire Stitch The Sketch series.