a journal: textiles, inspiration, musings

chapter 9 Monet colours

Monet used a broken colour technique to achieve the sensation of light in his paintings. He built up texture through use of thick and thin brushstrokes, with tiny dabs of light . That technique lends itself well to stitching, where we can attempt to layer colours and also sit them side by side so that they have an optical effect on each other.

James Heard in Paint Like Monet isolated 9 colours used by the artist:

lead white [now equivalent to titanium white.much less dangerous!]

chrome yellow [cadmium yellow light]

cadmium yellow

viridian green

emerald green

french ultrmarine

cobalt blue

madder ed [alizarin crimson]


ivory black but he stopped using black after 1886

I selected the painting Houses of Parliament at Sunset…in the early 1900s he painted a series of these with many variations of colour depending on the time of day. There are also many variations in colour  in the reproductions of this one! so i chose a reproduction that suited my purpose ie good bold colour…

I jotted down colours I thought I could see in the water

I translated those colours into matching ones with my Inktense pencils to help me select threads for the sample, and  had a play with the pencils to try and capture the colours of the water:

this wasn’t entirely satisfying as the watercolour pencils blend and it  lost the broken line effect of Monet’s work, but it did help me match some colour to thread ,and i used the colour sketch and the photo of Monet’s work to work from for sample one, as instructed  on black felt [an interesting background as there was no black in the painting! but as  the sample is very much an “inspired by” rather than “copy of” it works OK and the  black  actually gives some depth to the stitching:

I used thick Wonderfil threads..12 wt….my favourites for bold stitching, and a zigzag stitch. I’m not sure if it has really achieved enough of the broken colour effect, and will try the second sample next on transfer painted background and maybe try some different stitches and finer threads, but i did like the effect of the colours overlaid and juxtaposed in the piece. I used 4 blues, 4 yellows and an orange in the stitching…..

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