Thursday, August 02, 2012

Kaleidoscope Fun Part 3

Last week I shared some fun ways that I use kaleidoscopes in quilt designs. In Part 1 I showed how I create kaleidoscopes using Kaleidoscope Kreator, then import them back into the program to create a new look. In Part 2 I showed how to use a kaleidoscope with a simple layer to create a medallion center for a quilt.

As easy and fun as those two techniques are, what I most enjoy is using kaleidoscopes as part of digital collages. When I made my DVD, Digital Collage for Quilt Design, the one thing that I most wanted folks to take away from it was that you can use any image - photo, scanned documents or objects, drawings, paintings etc. - as part of a digital collage. If you look at my quilts (here and here) you'll see that I certainly use photographs in my collages, but also a variety of other image types.

Using a variety of image types in your digital collages can add texture, depth, and a more painterly looking result. It's really a way to personalize your art! In all the examples below I imported the kaleidoscopes into Photoshop and combined them with other images.

So how have I used kaleidoscopes in digital collages? Let's see
This background was created by heavily manipulating a feathered kaleidoscope, then copying it three times and arranging the images in a square.

Here the kaleidoscope has been cropped and used as a background for a silhouette. It's a very graphic look.
Again, a heavily manipulated kaleidoscope used as a background. Doesn't it remind you of a batik?
Using various transparencies for the kaleidoscope layers creates a fill for the butterfly, as well as the "frame" of feathers.
The "fancy" part of the background kaleidoscope was selectively removed, leaving a graphic, sun like design.
Yet another heavily manipulated kaleidoscope forms the background.
The "sprig" layer is placed on a kaleidoscope background. Because of the transparency of the "sprig" layer the background acts as a fill for the buds. I could easily extract the black background and use this design element on a different composition.

I love symmetry, but for my collages my focal point is generally not the kaleidoscope. As you can see I instead use them as  background elements, fills,  or textures. The framing effect a kaleidoscope can add to a composition is particularly appealing to me.

I hope you've enjoyed this series of posts - they were certainly fun for me! I'd love to hear how you use kaleidoscopes in your quilts too.