Here are two skills all quilters will need at some point. Alex has some tips based on real life experiences.
Today June 24, 2020 LIVE on Facebook at 10am PST, 1pm EST, 6pm London Time.
Ebony dials a traditional kaleidoscope block "up a notch" with her use of bright color in her quilt, Orange Crush.
Watch Ebony Love in Show 2304: Fast, Efficient, Die Cutting & Antique Signed Quilts.
Original Photo: Mary Kay Davis
What is it about some quilts and their 'spot on' realism that just makes them stand out from the crowd? White Umbrellas by Joan Sowada (on the right) is an excellent example. The shadows on the pavement and one umbrella have been created using a number of fabrics, including darker shades within a color family.
Whether you are a traditional or art quilter, understanding how and where to add shadows and/or highlights can help you to create more realistic and dynamic quilts.
In her book Color Play, Joen Wolfrom (Show 2101) says that, "The secret to making shadows and highlights has everything to do with color, the color scales, and the color wheel...Shadows move down the color wheel toward violet, while highlights move up the color wheel toward yellow. The deepest shadows will be a violet hue (see image below). The brightest highlight will be either a golden yellow (the umbrellas) or a chartreuse hue, depending on the side of the color wheel your color is on."
White Umbrellas by Joan Sowada - Detail (Image Courtesy of Joan Sowada).
Let's look at some examples of quilts where shadows and highlight play a big role in creating realism for the viewer:
Joen Wolfrom is back to share the secrets of how to gain a better understanding of shadows and highlights. This knowledge is another valuable tool to add to your quilting toolbox of tricks.
Shadows appear when something blocks light from landing on an object. The three important principles of shadows are:
1. A shadow’s color is darker than the object. This darkness can range from slight to very pronounced. The amount of darkness depends on your design, your preferences, and the materials available.
3. A shadow’s color is always cooler than the object. This coolness can range from slight to pronounced. Use your color wheel as a reference. Cooler colors move down the color wheel toward violet. If you want to create a slight shadow on your object, select a cooler version of the object’s color. A prominent or deep shadow may come from the “downward” neighboring one or two colors. Rarely will a shadow be as deep as violet unless the object’s color lies near violet on the color wheel. (more information, see Let the Colors Flow. - below)
EXTRA, EXTRA----DON’T FORGET THE HIGHLIGHTS!
Highlights are the brightening of a color due to extreme light. Highlights are almost always present whenever there are shadows. Highlights work similarly to shadows, except their coloring moves in the opposite direction―upward toward yellow. Here are the three important principles for creating highlights:
1. A highlight is lighter than the object.
2. A highlight is warmer than the object.
3. A highlight is more pure (more intense) in its coloring than the object.
Let the Colors Flow
by Joen Wolfrom
Instead of thinking of the color wheel as only 24 separate colors, think of it as a circle of scores of continuous colors flowing from one tiny variation to another.
To begin, visualize pure warm yellow moving ever so slightly toward chartreuse in minute steps. As the yellow flows toward chartreuse, it becomes a cooler yellow. When yellow and chartreuse intersect, yellow is at its coolest temperature while chartreuse is at its warmest (the closer a hue is to yellow, the warmer it is; the farther away from yellow, the cooler it is). As chartreuse flows from its warm hues to its midpoint color, its temperature becomes neutral (neither warm nor cool). After passing its midpoint color, chartreuse moves to its cooler hues. When chartreuse meets the next color, yellow-green, it is at its coolest stage while yellow-green is at its warmest. This fluidity from color to color with the ebb and flow of temperature continues throughout the half circle until the movement stops at violet, the bottom color.
The colors on the opposite side of the color wheel are equally fluid, each color moving from warm variations to the midpoint neutral position and then to its cooler versions. They, too, head downward to the next neighboring color, eventually ending at violet.
The 24 colors we see on the color wheel are the 24 midpoint colors that represent their major color sections in this continuous flow of color. Understanding this fluidity of color will greatly enhance your ability to create shadows and highlights in your designs.
Illustrations of Shadows and Highlights:
Notice the varying degrees of darkness, grayness, and coolness in the shadows on the hosta leaves and stems. The small shadow on the far right edge is the darkest of all. In contrast, the top two large leaves are in highlight. Their hues are lighter, more intense (more pure), and warmer than the leaf itself.
This park setting provides a great view of nature in both highlight and shadow. The spring-green trees in the park are contrasted with cooler spring-green leaves in light shade. Leaves more hidden from light are in cooler green hues. The tree in complete shade (left back) is filled with blue-green leaves. The grassy shadows vary in the amount of their coolness, darkness, and tonality. The grasses in intense light are in highlight. They are the warmest, purest grassy hues.
Go for a walk in the early morning or late afternoon, as this is the time when shadows and highlights will be most pronounced. The walk could be around your neigborhood, a local park, or a place of interest to you. Be sure to take a camera or cell phone with you. Don't hurry, take your time and look closely around. Remember, you are training yourself to be more observant. Take your photos and upload them to a file or print on a page for your notebook. These images can later be used for inspiration. Below are several examples of shadows and highlights to get you started.
Stay tuned and travel along with us on Quilt Roadies.
Isabel Muñoz of Pozuelo de Alarcon, Madrid, Spain, was searching for a new way to bring another dimension to her quilt, a 3rd dimension. We think she found it.
Can You Get Inside? was featured in the Modern Traditionalism category, sponsored by Marcus Fabrics | Studio 37 Fabrics, at QuiltCon 2020.
Original Photos by Mary Kay Davis
Kaleidoscopic Marbles was designed and pieced by Paula Nadelstern and quilted by Marlene Hiltner (40" x 40") . It is another one of Paula's kaleidoscopic quilts where she allows the fabric to do the work, while using easy piecing to assemble the quilt.
Click here to learn more about the process Paula used to create the quilt.
Star Members can watch Paula at work in Show 2010: Easy Piecing with Complex Fabrics Makes Stunning Quilts.
Original Photo: Mary Kay Davis
Kerri Green wanted to create a quilt which she first designed as a paper collage. Once put to paper, transferring the design to fabric made for challenging piecing. And if you've been following along with Alex's demonstrations of straight line quilting, wait until you see the detail in Collage Study 1, exhibited at QuiltCon 2020.
Original Photos by Mary Kay Davis
6/24/2020 at 11am PDT: "The California Art Quilt Revolution: From the Summer of Love to the New Millennium” with Nancy Bavor, presented by San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, along with special guest Alice Beasley, whose work will be on display in Layered & Stitched.
The decades leading up to the emergence of the art quilt in the last quarter of the 20th century portray a complex picture involving the intersection of art, craft, universities, and the traditional American quilt. California played a pivotal role in the development of this new art form. In her lecture, Nancy Bavor will consider the significant cultural and social trends that set the stage for the emergence of art quilts, trace its fifty year history, and highlight works from the exhibition Layered & Stitched: 50 Years of Innovative Art, on view at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles from October 10, 2021 through January 9, 2022.
The lectures will be presented live on Zoom with recordings published on each organization’s Facebook page later. Follow each organization’s page for updates on each of these exciting presentations.