a lovely look at faces – it’s all about value

I’d like to introduce you to one of my favorite quilt artists – Virginia Greaves. She recently created a piece for Personal Iconography: Graffiti on Fabric curated by Dinner@8. It will premier at the International Quilt Festival in Houston this fall.

With some of the recent tutorials I’ve given you and using apps to make photo patterns I’d like to skip ahead and show you how important it is to work carefully with VALUE when working with faces. Remember, VALUE is how much light or dark is in the color you are using. In Ginny’s case, the scale and density of the VISUAL TEXTURE (pattern) in the cloth creates lighter and darker  value as much as the actual color does.

Click over and get an in-depth look at Ginny’s process. She has created a beautiful piece of work and I know you’ll enjoy it.


You can learn more about the elements of art in my book, Art + Quilt: design principles and creativity exercises, available here.

Color Relationships

I believe that color is the favorite element of most visual artists.
It seems to directly bypass our thought process and drill right into our emotions. 

It’s interesting to me that I am intensely drawn to color
but especially so in their very subtle moods.


I started out in textiles as a traditional quilter 
and used mostly saturated primaries and jewel tones.
I actually had adverse physical reactions to grayed down blues or all pastel quilts. 


Borders created from center to outer edge by: Lyric Kinard, Karen Zeher, Barbara Molnar, Jan Beasley, Amy Winsor, Mary Stone.  Quilted and embellished by Lyric Kinard
A few years into my learning process as a fine artist I went through a “brown” phase. Everything I made seemed to come out in earth tones with metallics thrown in. I haven’t figured out why yet.

Three Rings

Perhaps it was a factor of living in Chicago at that time
or perhaps that year’s dye run just had some really great browns.
Out of the Box

As I’ve grown as an artist I better understand my fascination with color interactions.
Masterful use of value, in any hue, attracts me as much as color by itself.
I’m still learning. Still working on stepping out of my box.
Perhaps I’m even still learning and exploring what the box is.
It is such a fascinating world, so full of wonder. 
Trying to capture those feelings, those visions, those emotions.
What an amazing life-long venture.
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