Sources of Color Inspiration: Student Work

I decided to take a break from writing about color blends and do a post on the ways past students have used their color inspiration pictures. Except for the last person, these were beginning students who had little or no experience constructing canes. (All pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them.)

Glo’s Design

This is the picture Glo chose for inspiration and the cane she constructed. She was drawn to the geometric design elements in the picture and decided to include them in her cane as well.

The picture contains broad areas of shaded color and very little fine detail.  Glo used muted colors, strong Skinner blends and black outlines to achieve a similar look in her design.

Jill’s Design.

This is Jill’s inspiration picture and her cane. (I had to increase the contrast and saturation in the picture so that the colors would show up well enough for you to see them in this post.) Jill was attracted to the muted pastels used for the details in this needlepoint. Since the pastels were all about the same value (degree of lightness/darkness) she had to figure out ways to increase the contrast in her cane so that the different design elements would be readily discernible. She did this with strong Skinner blends and by building detail into her component canes. The a strong linear design element she added, consisting of light yellow diamonds against a dark brown background, increases the visual impact of the overall design.

Gayle’s design.

Gayle also had to contend with very little contrast in her picture. She created contrast in her cane by adding dark outlines to many of her cane components. Because the darker lines were very narrow in proportion to the lighter areas they served to separate the different design elements while still maintaining an overall feeling of lightness and airiness. Note that the outlines are darker versions of the colors in her picture, not black.

It wasn’t until Gayle started building her component canes that she realized the colors that had attracted her to the picture (blue, lavender, rose) comprised a relatively small part of the picture, overall. She decided to cover up part of the picture and focus on the colors she liked most. (The section she covered up is not shown here.)

Lori’s Design

Lori used black outlines to separate the different elements in her design rather than varying the values of the component canes. The heavy black outlines created an attractive stained glass look in the finished cane.

Like Gayle, she chose to focus on a portion of her picture for color inspiration, but I couldn’t tell you which area it was. Clearly, though, it was one of the darker areas.

Trina had the opposite problem from Gayle’s regarding light/dark contrast.  Dark and middle-value colors predominate in her picture. Her challenge was to introduce some light elements to add contrast without losing the deep, rich overall look of the picture. She did this quite successfully by inserting light lines into many of the component canes and by shading the others to be lighter towards the center and darker towards the edges using Skinner blends.

5 Pendants

At the end of the workshop we traded cane slices so that everyone could go home and make pendants from other peoples slices in addition to their own. Shown above are some of the pendants I made from the slices I received. Can you tell which canes (and which parts) they came from?

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14 Responses to Sources of Color Inspiration: Student Work

  1. Sue Castle says:

    Wow, that is incredibly inspirational. Thank you so much for sharing. Sure hope I can make one of your workshops next year. Smiles

  2. Carol, this was a beautiful and fun post. I was able to figure out which student’s cane section you used to make each of your designs. Lori’s took the longest. All of the work is very very good. I liked your critiques also. This was just as much a learning exercise as the color blends. Thanks for posting this.
    Bette L

  3. Nettonya says:

    So looking forward to discovering my own cane(s), in August, Carol!

    These were easy to guess. The colors, once made into canes, could be identified in the pendants you made from your slices of them.

    However, looking at each person’s picture and then finding ways to make the colors work together – that will definitely be my challenge at the workshop! Taking MY collage/picture and finding ways to create the cane(s), that is.

    • clsdesigns says:

      I wrote this post to get you all thinking about how you will use your pictures. Asking you to pick the matches was a way (I hoped) to get you looking more closely.

  4. I was inspired by all of them and looks like a bunch of fun! Thanks again for sharing your wonderful ideas—many of out here sure appreciate it.

  5. michele says:

    so amazing, especially seeing the wonderful travels you go with the materials! impressive totally, thanks for the broadening of my horizon!

  6. PB says:

    Hi Carol,
    It is exciting to look again at what past workshop participants have made as I am packing up for the Snohomish workshop! These are so beautiful. Thanks for posting them.
    See you soon!

  7. Pingback: Student’s Color Inspiration Picture with Cane (Glo) | Fabulous Picture Gallery

  8. Maggie (eloise) Hayden says:

    Carol, Excellent post. I’ve been a little lost in regards to using “lines” to accentuate parts of a cane using my energy to make them and not how to use them (and I’ve been practicing). After viewing these beautiful canes with your spot on critiques, I have no doubt that a second go round is the absolute right thing for me. So so so looking forward to KC.
    AND your somewhat recent post on the more scientific method to create skinner blends (rather than my willy nilly cuts from corner to corner – even with a template) was much appreciated. I’m already finding that my blends are a bit more even in color gradation, though I don’t really have it “down” yet. Thanks for posting!

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