How To Mask A Cushion...
Designing the cushions would have to begin with a few rough sketches, just to get an idea of how shapes can form and work together to create a complete image within a square frame. It would also require lots and lots of research into different African tribes across the ages and the art associated with them. It proved to be a very fun and rewarding task.
On the left is an initial image of a design you will recognise. It proved to be one of my favourite designs once completed but at the time I wasn't convinced by it and it was almost shelved! It just goes to show when we continue against out better judgement good results sometimes come from it (other times you just waste paint, spill your paint water and destroy your work space).
After reproducing a digital copy of the rough sketch, it's easy to splash in colours to see what goes together, and we end up with a series of rough ideas as to what it will look like. It also allows us to easily plan our colours to come up with some complementary tones. I like to simplify and limit to three tones at a time, even if the urge to go nuts comes about (it's way too easy). Once I get kind of a rough idea what goes I move to the next step. Creating a 'film negative' that I will use to create my photographic stencil. To do this I will need to colour each layer in black, with each colour tone being a layer. The rest of the design will be whitened out (as seen below). The print is then done in three stages (one for each tone) to create the complete image. Sounds pretty simple yet lots of hiccups can occur, such is the joy of working by hand. It is a true labour of love but as some famous singer probably sung love is a cruel fleeting mistress that's in the air.