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Gwen Hedley

Line, drawing, and mark-making in textile art

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


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, as preferred Papers for printing Newspaper upon which to rest your paints, brush, 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. If you are using a brush, make sure that the paint is distributed thinly and evenly. You may like to leave some of the brush marks, as these will transfer to the paper to give interesting effects. 2 sing your chosen drawing tool, and, pressing firmly, draw quickly and sponU taneously into the color. In the places where you draw, you will effectively remove the paint from the glass. Try making various movements, building up a rhythmic series of marks. 3 ay your paper on top of the drawing and press down gently, with the whole L of your hand, in circular rubbing movements. Alternatively, you may roll over it with a second clean roller. 4 Gently peel off the paper and leave the print to dry.

hen your print is dry, take another print on top of it, using a W different color. ry working with two or three different colors on the glass plate, to get T interesting color blends on your prints. rint from various weights of papers, fabrics, and altered grounds to see P different effects. rint onto ready-colored or patterned papers. P

FAR LEFT: Marks were made on the glass into tan printing ink, using a stick and a cotton bud, and the print was made. When it was dry, a second print was made on top, using blue ink and marks made with a cotton bud and fingers. LEFT: The top print was made using fingers to create swirling lines in pale green ink. An overprint was made with dark green ink. The bottom print was made using the same process, but this time, straight lines were drawn with a stick.



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. It is quick and easy to gather a selection of pieces of card in different weights and lengths, and no specialist materials are required.

Pieces of card can be substituted or supplemented by other materials that could be used to print line, such as old credit cards or supermarket loyalty cards. Alternatively, 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. The print process is the same.


maTerials A piece of thick card or a small plastic card coloring materials such as fabric paint, acrylic color, 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, it is a good idea to use a print pad, which you can make very simply. When you use a printing pad, it is easy to replace the paint as it is used, and attractive color blends can be achieved by adding other colors randomly onto the pad.
To make a prinTing pad

ake a small plastic, polystyrene, glass, or ceramic tray and line it with a T piece of felt that has been thoroughly wetted, then squeezed to remove the excess water. ork a small amount of paint, ink, or other liquid color into the felt with W a brush, until the color is absorbed thoroughly. The felt should not be submerged in liquid, just well saturated.
The prinTing bed

Always place the paper or fabric to be printed on a bed of newspapers, rather than straight onto a hard surface. The bed has some give in it, and so the print block can be slightly rocked without moving it out of position, which will gave a more even print. The sheets of paper can easily be folded and disposed of as necessary.
prinTing The line
FAR LEFT: In this sample, the thick lines were printed with a block made from cutfoam strips, and the finer lines with card endsall onto ready-colored papers. TOP: In this image, the thick lines were made using a foam block, and the thin lines were created with a print block made from short lengths of fine string glued to a piece of thick card. AbOvE: A repeat print made using a block made from coarse string glued in a curved line on a piece of thick card.

1 Lay your paper or fabric onto the printing bed. 2 Holding the card end vertically, press it firmly down onto the print pad to collect color. 3 Press the edge of the card onto the background, giving it a slight rocking movement before you lift it up. Repeat, lengthening and building the lines as you proceed.

ary the density of the print: try taking a second print without V re-inking the card, or changing the amount of pressure you apply. se cards of varying weights and lengths, plus linear blocks to U achieve variety. or interesting two- or three-tone lines, blend two or three F colors onto the print pad.


This drawing process works on a similar principle to that used when you are fine-line drawing from an inked plate, in that you are lifting color from a base platein this case a colored paperby drawing firmly upon a piece of paper placed on top of it, and then peeling it off. The pastel that acts as a resist can often be transferred with the wax color. This can soften the vibrancy of the top drawing, giving a slightly muted and chalky surface to lines and areas of color.
maTerials A strong base paper with a smooth surface, such as cartridge paper or brown envelopes. Softer papers are not as effective when used as the base paper. Pale-colored or white pastels (not oil pastels) or chalks colored wax crayons A ballpoint pen or other drawing tool Top papersthese should also be fairly strong, but not too thick. process

1 over the base paper thoroughly with the chalks or pastelsyou might like C to use just a single color, or a mix of several pale colors. Make sure that you have covered the paper thoroughly. Blow away any dust left by the chalks or pastels. 2 over this chalked base paper with a heavy layer of wax crayon. Again, you C may like to mix or layer the colors, but make sure that the whole paper is well covered. 3 ay the other sheet of paper on top of the waxed one and draw your lines L and marks with your ballpoint pen, pressing very firmly. Vary the weights of your lines and marks and use dense color in some areas, so that you get a good sample of what is possible. 4 ift off the paper. You will find that the lines you have drawn have lifted L the color from the base paper. Where you have colored in areas with your ballpoint pen, you will find blocks of color on the top paper, and the corresponding negative white shapes on the base paper. Likewise, the fine colored lines on the top paper will be matched by fine white lines on the base paper. You now have a pair of positive and negative drawings.

LEFT AND AbOvE: To create this design, cartridge paper was covered with a cream-colored pastel. 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, with areas of both simple line and dense coverage.

ork some sample sheets to explore possibilities. Label them and store W in your workbook as reference. ou might like to work further into the drawing with colored pencils, fineY liners, or other drawing implements. urther lines and marks can be drawn into the base layer, or you can scratch F off areas with a craft knife or stylusbe careful not to pierce the paper.

chapTer 1

Working with this book

chapTer 2

backgrounds, materials, and tools

chapTer 3

Line-drawing and mark-making processes

chapTer 4

Textile Process
chapTer 5

Interpreting line quality: drawing and stitching

chapTer 6


Line is an essential component of all textile and surface art. When used effectively, line and mark-making convey texture, tone, form, movement, and mood. With Drawn to Stitch by your side, learn creative uses of line in embroidery and textile art. Artist and teacher Gwen Hedley shares a series of exercises designed to explore lines potential as well as develop your creativity. Drawn to Stitch also covers line and mark-making tools, materials, and processes, including printing and mixed-media techniques. Gwen explores stitch, explaining how to interpret different line qualities from crisp and sharp to soft and diffused and from raised and overlaid to recessed and inlaid. Full of inspiring ideas, Drawn to Stitch is illustrated with stunning examples of stitched-textile work from leading artists.

using line

GWen HeDLey is an author, teacher, and embroiderer whose work is exhibited widely. She is a member of The Society of Designer-Craftsmen and The Practical Study Group. She is the author of the bestselling title Surfaces for Stitch. She lives in Chalfont St. Peter, Buckinghamshire.

PAPERbAck 8 10, 144 PAGES ISbN 978-1-59668-233-7, $29.95 AvAILAbLE SEPTEMbER 2010