Gwen Hedley

Line, drawing, and mark-making in textile art

. a wide range of interesting lines and textural marks are achievable. A single print is produced from a smooth plate of glass.MONOPRINTING Monoprinting is an easy way of transferring marks and designs to both fabrics and papers. or similar material that has been colored or inked. acetate. Depending upon the thickness of the ink and the methods of applying it to the printing plate. so multiple identical prints are not possible.

with the whole L of your hand. using a W different color. 3 ay your paper on top of the drawing and press down gently. P FAR LEFT: Marks were made on the glass into tan printing ink. take another print on top of it. When it was dry. 4 Gently peel off the paper and leave the print to dry. building up a rhythmic series of marks. In the places where you draw. An overprint was made with dark green ink. brush. The bottom print was made using the same process. draw quickly and sponU taneously into the color. If you are using a brush. in circular rubbing movements. and. Try making various movements. and roller meThod 1 pply a small amount of color to your printing plate and spread it evenly and A thinly over its surface with your hard roller. DRAWN TO STITcH 3 . LEFT: The top print was made using fingers to create swirling lines in pale green ink. using blue ink and marks made with a cotton bud and fingers. make sure that the paint is distributed thinly and evenly. a second print was made on top.TAkING A bASIc PRINT Tools and maTerials Printing plate: you can use a smooth piece of glass or a sheet of acetate or Perspex Drawing and mark-making tools Printing ink or paint Hard roller or brush. suggesTions • hen your print is dry. pressing firmly. using a stick and a cotton bud. • rint onto ready-colored or patterned papers. as preferred Papers for printing Newspaper upon which to rest your paints. You may like to leave some of the brush marks. fabrics. and the print was made. Alternatively. and altered grounds to see P different effects. • rint from various weights of papers. • ry working with two or three different colors on the glass plate. as these will transfer to the paper to give interesting effects. you may roll over it with a second clean roller. but this time. 2 sing your chosen drawing tool. to get T interesting color blends on your prints. straight lines were drawn with a stick. you will effectively remove the paint from the glass.

Alternatively. 4 DRAWN TO STITcH . It is quick and easy to gather a selection of pieces of card in different weights and lengths. such as old credit cards or supermarket loyalty cards. The print process is the same. and no specialist materials are required. suggesTion Pieces of card can be substituted or supplemented by other materials that could be used to print line.cARD AND bLOck PRINTING This is a simple method of printing in which lines of varying qualities can be printed using the ends of pieces of thick card as printing tools. other materials such as string or strips of cork could be stuck onto card with double-sided sticky tape in order to make a linear print block.

rather than straight onto a hard surface. or ceramic tray and line it with a T piece of felt that has been thoroughly wetted. press it firmly down onto the print pad to collect color. plus linear blocks to U achieve variety. DRAWN TO STITcH 5 . the thick lines were made using a foam block. and the finer lines with card ends–all onto ready-colored papers. ink. and attractive color blends can be achieved by adding other colors randomly onto the pad. which you can make very simply. just well saturated. The bed has some give in it. suggesTions • ary the density of the print: try taking a second print without V re-inking the card. To make a prinTing pad • ake a small plastic. it is a good idea to use a print pad. acrylic color.maTerials A piece of thick card or a small plastic card coloring materials such as fabric paint. • or interesting two- or three-tone lines. 2 Holding the card end vertically. and so the print block can be slightly rocked without moving it out of position. printing inks Printing pad (see below for instructions on how to make one) Fabric and/or papers to be printed Thick bed of newspaper sheets Paintbrush and water jar For effective and efficient application of paint to the card. then squeezed to remove the excess water. glass. giving it a slight rocking movement before you lift it up. • se cards of varying weights and lengths. TOP: In this image. lengthening and building the lines as you proceed. The prinTing bed Always place the paper or fabric to be printed on a bed of newspapers. the thick lines were printed with a block made from cutfoam strips. 3 Press the edge of the card onto the background. until the color is absorbed thoroughly. which will gave a more even print. Repeat. prinTing The line FAR LEFT: In this sample. The felt should not be submerged in liquid. When you use a printing pad. it is easy to replace the paint as it is used. The sheets of paper can easily be folded and disposed of as necessary. and the thin lines were created with a print block made from short lengths of fine string glued to a piece of thick card. • ork a small amount of paint. polystyrene. or changing the amount of pressure you apply. AbOvE: A repeat print made using a block made from coarse string glued in a curved line on a piece of thick card. or other liquid color into the felt with W a brush. 1 Lay your paper or fabric onto the printing bed. blend two or three F colors onto the print pad.


Likewise. You will find that the lines you have drawn have lifted L the color from the base paper. process 1 over the base paper thoroughly with the chalks or pastels—you might like C to use just a single color. the fine colored lines on the top paper will be matched by fine white lines on the base paper. Where you have colored in areas with your ballpoint pen. in that you are lifting color from a base plate—in this case a colored paper—by drawing firmly upon a piece of paper placed on top of it. 2 over this chalked base paper with a heavy layer of wax crayon. but make sure that the whole paper is well covered. maTerials A strong base paper with a smooth surface. 4 ift off the paper. and the corresponding negative white shapes on the base paper. This was then covered with brightly colored patches of wax crayon. A top layer of cartridge paper was placed on top and heavily drawn onto. so that you get a good sample of what is possible. 3 ay the other sheet of paper on top of the waxed one and draw your lines L and marks with your ballpoint pen. Again.LIFTING cOLOR This drawing process works on a similar principle to that used when you are fine-line drawing from an inked plate. Vary the weights of your lines and marks and use dense color in some areas. you will find blocks of color on the top paper. You now have a pair of positive and negative drawings. fineY liners. • ou might like to work further into the drawing with colored pencils. such as cartridge paper or brown envelopes. • urther lines and marks can be drawn into the base layer. or a mix of several pale colors. with areas of both simple line and dense coverage. • ork some sample sheets to explore possibilities. Make sure that you have covered the paper thoroughly. and then peeling it off. Label them and store W in your workbook as reference. pressing very firmly. DRAWN TO STITcH 7 . or other drawing implements. cartridge paper was covered with a cream-colored pastel. but not too thick. suggesTions LEFT AND AbOvE: To create this design. This can soften the vibrancy of the top drawing. giving a slightly muted and chalky surface to lines and areas of color. Blow away any dust left by the chalks or pastels. Pale-colored or white pastels (not oil pastels) or chalks colored wax crayons A ballpoint pen or other drawing tool Top papers—these should also be fairly strong. The pastel that acts as a resist can often be transferred with the wax color. Softer papers are not as effective when used as the base paper. you C may like to mix or layer the colors. or you can scratch F off areas with a craft knife or stylus—be careful not to pierce the paper.

materials. Buckinghamshire. Peter. form. including printing and mixed-media techniques. line and mark-making convey texture. Full of inspiring ideas. PAPERbAck 8½ × 10½. and mood. She is the author of the bestselling title Surfaces for Stitch. movement. 144 PAGES ISbN 978-1-59668-233-7. materials. $29. She lives in Chalfont St. When used effectively. Drawn to Stitch also covers line and mark-making tools. tone. explaining how to interpret different line qualities from crisp and sharp to soft and diffused and from raised and overlaid to recessed and inlaid. learn creative uses of line in embroidery and textile art. teacher. Gwen explores stitch. She is a member of The Society of Designer-Craftsmen and The Practical Study Group.95 AvAILAbLE SEPTEMbER 2010 .cONTENTS INTRODucTION chapTer 1 Working with this book chapTer 2 backgrounds. and embroiderer whose work is exhibited widely. using line GWen HeDLey is an author. and processes. With Drawn to Stitch by your side. and tools chapTer 3 Line-drawing and mark-making processes chapTer 4 Textile Process chapTer 5 Interpreting line quality: drawing and stitching chapTer 6 ExPLORE THE DESIGN POSSIbILITIES OF LINE Line is an essential component of all textile and surface art. Artist and teacher Gwen Hedley shares a series of exercises designed to explore line’s potential as well as develop your creativity. Drawn to Stitch is illustrated with stunning examples of stitched-textile work from leading artists.