Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sunflowers and Dragonflies: Part One

I've got a new favorite! I just recently finished a new toddler piece and am so excited to show it!

"Sunflowers and Dragonflies" was commissioned by a friend from college who I haven't talked to in years. She found my shop on Etsy (speaking of, you should totally go check out her work: SunChaser Studio) and wanted a piece for her little girl's room. While sketching it I realized there were lots of opportunities for new techniques in this piece, especially in the details.

Color and Design Plans

I wanted the background to be splotchy with pinks and purples but didn't see any fabrics fitting the image in my head. Years ago I had used Neocollor II crayons on a few works and thought I'd give it a try again.

Materials needed for Neocolor II: Layer board, scrap materials,  fabric, water and brush, Neocolor II crayons.

To do this process crayon is drawn directly on to the actual fabric. For a smooth appearance color with the side of the crayon. If lines appear it is hard to get rid of them later. Once the crayon is complete the fabric is painted with water to blend colors and lighten the crayon. This part of the process really involves soaking the fabric so usually it is done over layers of other fabrics to absorb the water. I like to make a base layer which keeps me from wasting so many bottom layers of fabric. This is done by covering g a piece of foam core with contact paper and then taping an old fabric piece over that. The crayon/water process can be repeated as many times as needed until the desired background is finished. You can also use the crayon directly on the fabric without wetting it (especially good if you want to see your lines.)

Lines drawn onto fabric with pink and purple crayons, then placed on top covered foam core.

Between soakings.... The darker purple areas are still wet from the water. The pink has then been drawn over top of the wet fabric to darken the pink shades.

After the background fabric was finished it was easy to assemble the remaining fabrics and begin piecing the work together. However, because this is only one of several techniques I want to explain about this work, and because this post has already been long enough, I'll save the next step for tomorrow!

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