A Little Art Quilting Perspective + A Giveaway

19 Aug 2011

There are a number of design considerations to think about when planning an art quilt---composition, color theory, texture, value. Working at Quilting Arts Magazine, I feel pretty lucky to have the opportunity to see on a daily basis how individual artists tackle design issues and create quilts that burst with life. When I see a quilt with a motif rendered in a unique angle or a landscape quilt where it feels like I'm quite literally standing in the scene gazing toward the horizon, I get excited. I love the feeling of looking at a piece of cloth that has been transformed to convey depth and perspective. 

And since Quilting Arts readers are so adept at using depth and perspective as design elements in their art quilts, I thought I'd not only share a few samples from our Reader Gallery, but also ask you to share your own tips and tricks for conveying depth and perspective.

I'll be giving away three Quilting Arts grab bags to readers who comment below. To participate, simply leave a comment describing your tip or trick. I will announce three randomly chosen winners on Friday, August 26, 2011.

 

art quilt, perspective, quilting arts

"Cornered" by bofogray

art quilt, landscape

"Crystal Creek" by calna


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Artvisionz wrote
on 19 Aug 2011 9:29 AM

I have never really created a quilt of this style but, to create depth in my work, layers in my trick.  I love using transparent or semi-transparent materials in multiple layers.

KarenHelen wrote
on 19 Aug 2011 10:19 AM

I painted in oils prior to art quilting. Creating depth and correct perspective can be challenging in any medium. The chair quilt reminded me of a painting I did of a chair.  I love the shadow on the floor created by the light coming from the window. The landscape quilt Crystal Creek is amazing.

sofie99 wrote
on 19 Aug 2011 10:37 AM

I try focus on the values before I begin working. I find once I can discern the separate areas, it helps alot with dimension.

hehjude wrote
on 19 Aug 2011 11:05 AM

I like to use Shiva paintsticks to blend shadows and create depth.

jane@47 wrote
on 19 Aug 2011 11:06 AM

Shading and perspective are the 2 methods I use most frequently.

on 19 Aug 2011 11:09 AM

My mother was the artist in the family.  I have no depth perspective, just ask my DH where all the dings came from.  Mom tried to teach me but no success.  I love quilting and machine embroidery.  I have not tried to do a fancy art quilt.

leilap123 wrote
on 19 Aug 2011 11:09 AM

i do  lyeringm , but mostly going from larger in the front to smaller in the back.

bridgidhp wrote
on 19 Aug 2011 11:10 AM

I like to add details, depth and shadows using fabric paints and markers

quilteagle wrote
on 19 Aug 2011 11:17 AM

I use the rule of thirds in my art quilts.  Place your feature item of your art quilt one third of the way up or down and side to side from the edges of your quilt.  It pleases the eye and gives depth to your quilt.

mrshall wrote
on 19 Aug 2011 11:24 AM

I add depth to my quilts using layers of fabric, especially choosing fabric that displays depth in its patterns.

Marce Hall

marce_hall at yahoo dot com

KathiT wrote
on 19 Aug 2011 11:43 AM

Those are beautiful!!

I love using layers of fabric and 3-d fabric to add depth. I also "paint" with thread to add details.

kirrilou wrote
on 19 Aug 2011 11:48 AM

i love to use layers of fabrics in different weights and textures. this gives a really nice sence of perspective in my work. embelishments are always my favourite finishing touches. xxx

Tish@7 wrote
on 19 Aug 2011 11:49 AM

I like to use patterned and transparent fabrics to give the illusion of depth.

oregonjudy wrote
on 19 Aug 2011 11:50 AM

I try to make the fabric do the work (along with a good angle on the perspective).

GA Quilter wrote
on 19 Aug 2011 11:59 AM

I have only made two landscape quilts and I used value to show perspective.

volmom wrote
on 19 Aug 2011 12:00 PM

If possible. I scan my piece in progress using greyscale, no colors. Then, I hang that scan on a wall and view,after stepping  back, noting where things look"flat" or areas that lack depth.When color is not part of the picture, it often makes it easier to see where stronger or weaker values are needed to increase the illusion of depth. If the piece is too large to scan, you can also take a picture, and print it out in black/white/greyscale to get a similar result for viewing.

angkollet1 wrote
on 19 Aug 2011 12:14 PM

color contrast is my trick. Would love to win!

BJ MacKinnon wrote
on 19 Aug 2011 12:19 PM

I love these pieces. I'm sure I saw the 1st one at the Augusta Quilt Show in July. The 2nd one is absolutely beautiful as well. I'm in awe!

BJ MacKinnon wrote
on 19 Aug 2011 12:21 PM

My trick is limited to shading and using color values to the best advantage.

kaynice wrote
on 19 Aug 2011 12:36 PM

I often use layers of black tulle to create depth & shadows.  I also use more texture and detail in the foreground.

cmap79 wrote
on 19 Aug 2011 12:44 PM

When making a landscaping quilt, I always make the bottom pieces larger than I need. That way when adding the pieces on top I don’t have to worry about gaps.

C. Peterson

gumbeau wrote
on 19 Aug 2011 12:47 PM

I like to zoom in on my subject and allow part of it to be cut off. (Think of a close up of a flower or a butterfly's wing.)

D_Holst wrote
on 19 Aug 2011 1:01 PM

Loved all the comments before me but one thing I have started using lately is Copic Markers.  Just started dabling with them but the blending is wonderful.  They are also refillable!

Iberra wrote
on 19 Aug 2011 1:13 PM

Since I live next to a national forest, I'm able to see things from all different perspectives, I love looking at the bark on trees, and the way rock look. I like to use shadows to show my perspectives.

goonybird wrote
on 19 Aug 2011 1:14 PM

Have never tried this style, yet. I do use folded fabric for more depth...

cmap79 wrote
on 19 Aug 2011 1:20 PM

When making a landscaping quilt, I always make the bottom pieces larger than I need. That way when adding the pieces on top I don’t have to worry about gaps.

on 19 Aug 2011 1:56 PM

Beautiful samples!  There are so many creative people on the website and in the magazine.  I like to create perspective using shading.

reginabdunn wrote
on 19 Aug 2011 1:58 PM

For a landscape, I make the objects in the background smaller and lighter, cooler, and duller.

laurenfinley wrote
on 19 Aug 2011 2:06 PM

I do architectural perspective drawings.  In an overly simplified understanding of two point perspective, all parallel lines converge to two vanishing points, one on the left and one on the right.  Place the vanishing points on an imaginary horizon line where your eye level is.  Lines above your eyes would go down, lines below go up to meet the vanishing points.  "Crystal Creek" is more a one point perspective (like electrical wires on a street converging to a point that is at your eye level).  Way more than you were wanting to know....

SewLindaAnn wrote
on 19 Aug 2011 2:48 PM

This may sound juvenile, but with my inexperience in this form right now I draw out my pattern first and keep looking at it's perspective along with others' work. This way I can be sure I'm conveying it properly. I like dense stitching for shadows and also adding 3D elements like crochet pieces, yarn couching, etc.

1griselda1 wrote
on 19 Aug 2011 2:57 PM

Depending on the subject matter, it could be thread painting in darker shades, shiva paint sticks, fabrics, or a 3d embellishments that casts a shadow naturally.

DinahT wrote
on 19 Aug 2011 4:01 PM

Size and color seem to be a couple of important points in adding depth to art pieces (at least to me).

strattons158 wrote
on 19 Aug 2011 4:08 PM

During the process I take pictures with my digital camera to get a better perspective of the details.  Just looking at the picture actually on the camera gives me inspiration to add or subtract from what I have.  It also lets me go back to a previous decision when the new direction doesn't work out.  That is probably the best advantage of the digital camera.

strattons158 wrote
on 19 Aug 2011 4:09 PM

During the process I take pictures with my digital camera to get a better perspective of the details.  Just looking at the picture actually on the camera gives me inspiration to add or subtract from what I have.  It also lets me go back to a previous decision when the new direction doesn't work out.  That is probably the best advantage of the digital camera.

dfmrobinson wrote
on 19 Aug 2011 4:47 PM

...A quilt is a canvas......shadowing is great with showing depth

dfmrobinson wrote
on 19 Aug 2011 4:47 PM

...A quilt is a canvas......shadowing is great with showing depth

lindakk wrote
on 19 Aug 2011 6:50 PM

I use perspective mostly in landscape quilts. I also love to use color to create depth.

on 19 Aug 2011 6:51 PM

Remember to add shadows!  Great giveaway and great tips!

kcdonya wrote
on 19 Aug 2011 7:47 PM

I tell my students that color value and shading are the most important part of creating the illusion of depth and space.

coollabtech1 wrote
on 19 Aug 2011 9:11 PM

I have been studying all about perpective and design but haven't yet applied it to any of my pieces yet!

robinnn wrote
on 19 Aug 2011 9:59 PM

I love Crystal Creek - just beautiful!

jabotquilt wrote
on 19 Aug 2011 10:27 PM

All my art quilts have something 3 D in them.

kathyrentz wrote
on 19 Aug 2011 11:41 PM

Perspective is very important on the quilt I am currently making. I'm using angles, value and object size. Shiva really helps with shading values.

Pegcollins wrote
on 20 Aug 2011 7:20 AM

Love both of these pieces. something as simple as a chair, but it's all in the details: shadow, quilt draped over the chair, even the elec outlet! so cute. Crystal Creek looks like the rocky Mtns around my house! love it!

altermyworld wrote
on 20 Aug 2011 8:21 AM

Gotta create shadow, slight graduation of color no matter what the medium! In quilting its shiva paint sticks, i love them WOW! I had the pleasure of meeting an artist who works with the company, Greg at an art retreat, He was fabulous in showing us how these worked and really nice!

ANg

SusanB@153 wrote
on 20 Aug 2011 8:44 AM

I'm new to quilting and have fallen in love art quilts...  so i really have no tips to share but would still love to win...  thanx

rosenana wrote
on 20 Aug 2011 8:59 AM

I try not to get caught up in too much detail.  My philosphy is to just go for it making  certain that the most important  element of my work is color and balance.

Jasssper wrote
on 20 Aug 2011 11:24 AM

I love creating art quilts, I am currently working on a window shade.  I draw out on paper what I want the finished piece to look like. I like to make sure the scale of the subjects look good. something farther away will be smaller than something close. Also I try to use bolder fabrics for the closer and more muted tones for the farther away pieces.  It is always such fun.

Glor55 wrote
on 20 Aug 2011 11:32 AM

I like to use different shades of similar colors  and have used fabric paints to add depth when needed.

Glor55 wrote
on 20 Aug 2011 11:33 AM

I like to use different shades of similar colors  and have used fabric paints to add depth when needed.

Glor55 wrote
on 20 Aug 2011 11:33 AM

I like to use different shades of similar colors  and have used fabric paints to add depth when needed.

javadiva wrote
on 20 Aug 2011 11:45 AM

I create depth with variety of shades in the same colors.

barbsews wrote
on 20 Aug 2011 12:02 PM

I am into making quilt art, particularly landscaping.  I belong to Quilt Inspirations Group (QIGs) which is a group of approximately 10 members who get together once a month.  We critique each others work and also issue challenges so that we do something that is not normally what we are comfortable with.  This group has really helped me to further my art.

on 20 Aug 2011 1:29 PM

The Crystal Creek is the most beautiful quilt I think I have ever seen.  Would love to have just a painting.... Your work is marvelous.. Everything looks like I am looking at the real thing. Thank you for sharing.     I have never done this type quilting but would love to try... Would be nice to win one of the free grab bags.... God's  Blessings to you and yours

stitchgirl2 wrote
on 20 Aug 2011 7:49 PM

The rules for creating depth and perspective are the same whether rendering them in fabric or paint:  Use dark colors to recede, lighter, brighter colors to bring forward.  

Add highlights where they would naturally fall, shadows where they would naturally be seen.  Find a vantage point in the composition, and that is where the shapes would become smaller.    Plan the composition out on paper first, and select all the fabrics colors and hues accordingly.

DeniseBL wrote
on 20 Aug 2011 8:31 PM

I always try to choose fabrics with a range of values (lights, medium and dark), also viewing the design from a distance helps as well.

kitties wrote
on 20 Aug 2011 9:43 PM

I use sheer fabric layered to create depth, I have also used a used dryer sheet, ironed and placed where I can put it to the best use, so far, I'm doing a good number of clouds.  I love the used dryer sheets, when I print something on them with my run-of-mill printer, the subject looks vintage and almost etheral.  It's wonderful.  Try it. Works wonderfully when doing flowers.

kitties wrote
on 20 Aug 2011 9:43 PM

I use sheer fabric layered to create depth, I have also used a used dryer sheet, ironed and placed where I can put it to the best use, so far, I'm doing a good number of clouds.  I love the used dryer sheets, when I print something on them with my run-of-mill printer, the subject looks vintage and almost etheral.  It's wonderful.  Try it. Works wonderfully when doing flowers.

Tess Fowler wrote
on 21 Aug 2011 6:35 AM

I am very new to quilting (just easy rag quilts so far!), but have some experience doing photo touch ups with Photoshop. For shading techniques, imagining/using at least a couple sources of light within a picture (ex: instead of just the sun as a source and using a simple darker shade of the same color ad a shadow, use tints to take advantage of reflections as well to give complementary colors such as water's blues/purples shadows vs the sun's yellow/orange highlights, or reds/yellows highlights from firelight or sunsets vs greens/purples shadows from the background scenary).

CieMT wrote
on 21 Aug 2011 11:48 AM

CieQuilts, I love both of your quilts, I use very, very thin suede or leather to give a different twist to my depth, just once pcs or two,

BetsyJB wrote
on 21 Aug 2011 1:14 PM

These are 2 beautiful examples of depth and perspective. Size and value are important. Larger objects as well as darker values should be in the foreground. While smaller objects and lighter values should be in the background.

Josie@14 wrote
on 21 Aug 2011 2:12 PM

I use paints and fabric markers to add depth and dimension to my work.  Josie Davis

CypressJoan wrote
on 21 Aug 2011 10:00 PM

Always color - dull, light for the distant .... bright and detailed for the closest ...

cindyrquilts wrote
on 22 Aug 2011 2:20 AM

I use a lot of tulle to make the background, faraway places seem a bit blurry and out of focus . Then the real focus can be on the foreground. It's like a photograph where the focus is on the foreground and the background has a dreamy effect.

I use tulle for shadows and depth as well.

Cindy Richard

W J wrote
on 22 Aug 2011 10:40 AM

particularly love the crystal creek piece. I spend a lot of time in the mountains  and have noticed that to create perspective in landscapes I need to make the distance much lighter, greyer, smaller and so much less detailed. Means no thread painting for distance, only foreground (needs discipline to stop!) Also found that changing the value of the sky from light at bottom to darker higher up helps the sense of distance.

Riverlovr wrote
on 22 Aug 2011 6:18 PM

Adding to Quilteagle's comment on the rule of thirds:  whether your landscape is a horizontal or vertical orientation, visually divide your layout into thirds, and place the horizon line around the 1/3 or 2/3 line.  (That's always more pleasing to the eye than a centered horizon line.)  Also, work on a design wall rather than on a flat surface like a table.  An inexpensive door "peep hole"  from the hardware store works well to assess your progress -- view your piece on a design wall while looking through the "peep hole."  Anything that looks odd or stands out will be easily visible.

DebiK@3 wrote
on 23 Aug 2011 1:06 PM

shading & highlighting are my favorite using inktense color pencils

debi

Penelope14 wrote
on 24 Aug 2011 10:39 PM

I use value going from light to dark and also shadow play with coloured pencils.

stitching wrote
on 25 Aug 2011 9:46 AM

I use paint to create depth and what appeals to me. I experiment a lot.

ann wilson2 wrote
on 13 Aug 2012 10:07 AM

I have never had formal art training but am fasinated with art quilts. I have tried my hand at a few and will continue on my journey .  i love cystal creek and cornered reminds me of what I wanted to do with a picture of my mothers rocker and her afghans.