Nina's Textile Trail

My OCA Textile Tales

Part 2 Building a visual vocabulary – Project 3 Colour – Stage 6 Combining textures and colour effects


During this stage I have looked at the work of the French Impressionists (after 1870) who painted colours in dots or small brushstrokes with the effect that the eye of the viewer mixes the colours.  We are recommended to look at Seurat’s paintings.  A good example of ‘pointillism’, the name given to using dots of colour to achieve optical effects, is

The Channel of Gravelines, Petit Fort Philippe, 1890 (oil on canvas) Seurat, Georges Pierre (1859-1891)

In Seurat’s paintings, he uses dots of colour whereas Henri-Edmond Cross uses dashes which are more directional and I think give more movement to the painting.

A Pine Grove 1906  Cross, Henri-Edmond (18556-1910)

I love the stillness and moonlight of this painting:-

Camaret, Moonlight and Fishing Boats 1894(oil on canvas) Luce Maximillien (1858-1941)

Colour interaction is also discussed in David Hornung’s book in Part Five: Colour Interaction Optical Mixing (Hornung D (2004) Colour, A Workshop for Artists and Designers).  He states that “When a field of colour is composed of small, particulate colour shapes, your mind fuses the disparate visual phenomena into a comprehensible whole”.  To try and illustrate this I have photographed a mosaic made for me by a friend of mine close up and from a distance.


Hornung says that with mosaics and some woven textiles where the units are big enough to be seen but still merge into a whole picture, the eye can alternate between the two views and that this sensation can make the experience of seeing them ‘almost tactile’.   I think I can relate to this although I would describe the experience of looking at mosaics as almost three-dimensional.


2 thoughts on “Part 2 Building a visual vocabulary – Project 3 Colour – Stage 6 Combining textures and colour effects

  1. Wow I see my mosaic has been useful in your studies…..we do often tell children to squint their eyes when they look at their mosaic makings to see if they can infact make out what it was they were trying to ‘paint’ in the pieces.; getting the outlines can be tricky when patience is short. Your stitching is proving to build up both texture and colour and the yellow seems to move somewhat too.

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