Lesson #2 in Creating a Rya from a Painting

Monet-5-ready for painting

Last week, I prepared the backings by hemming them to the desired length.  Now I will show you how I take a painting and adapt it so it can be knotted as an off-loom rya.  The design I am working on is from a painting by Claude Monet, but this could just as easily be an original pastel or oil painting, or a zoomed-in abstract from a colorful photograph.  Designs are everywhere.

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I like to use diluted watercolor paints so I can see the graph lines as I work.  Even if an area was going to be black, I would watercolor paint with gray just to give me the idea of dark or black.  Note that the graph paper is not standard.  In a one-inch-square there are 70 smaller squares representing where the knots will be.  (See the close-up shots below.) I carry this special graph paper if you want to give a shot at designing your own someday.  As I paint, it dawns on me that I ought to be thinking yarn-colors, not paint-colors, so I grabs some color samples.  (I know that is not so easy for you.  If you are serious about designing a rya, I’d recommend a yarn sample card set with about 80 colors. My Yarn Samples as sold on etsy.)2014-08-05 12.16.00

So I roughly paint a similar image to the inspiration, dabbing in color and thrust and shapes.  I avoid too much detail because detail doesn’t translate well into the moving pile of a rya rug.  Luckily Monet did great organic flowing designs.  Here is my watercolor nearly complete.  Remember it is just a guide, not a literal painting.

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As soon as I am happy with the feel of the painting, I start to “square-off” my painting lines into color areas for the yarn.  It is fun to follow a curved line making only horizontal and vertical lines.  That is squaring off.  Each of those squares will be a knot with one, two, or three different shades of yarn.2014-08-06 11.43.45

And another squaring-off illustration.  When I am painting, I pay no attention to the grid lines.  Don’t even try to paint according to the grid.  Squaring off will make it look as though you planned it out very carefully.2014-08-06 11.42.29

2014-08-06 15.21.02I will leave you today with this image as I walked away from it this evening.  It is more than half squared off.  In the next work session, I’ll show you how I make a corresponding color card showing exactly what color yarn will go where.  Any questions?

 

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