Project 2 Stage 3 – A Sample

In this stage I was asked to choose a drawing with stong linear qualities, not too complicated and with variety.

Inspiration drawing

Canson 160g/m2 recycled paper

I chose the section above, part of Project 1, Stage 1, Exercise 3. I was attracted by the variety of lines and textures and the general liveliness. In the circular format it looks like lots of little life forms swimming under a microscope. I decided to stay with that shape – partly for that reason and partly so I could see the whole thing at once.

Selection, sampling

Next was selecting fabric and yarns. Calico made a good base – the colour and texture fitted with the original paper. I like the reduced palette, so stayed with that with a selection of black perle cotton together various silk threads and fabrics  plus some nylon net that I’ve dyed in the past.

I started stitching with the black lines. They seem to give the overall shape and also looked the most unforgiving to form. I was originally going to use stem stitch for the tails, but was glad to switch to couching  to get the scale right. The “bodies” are satin stitch and french knots (a couple surrounded by a detached chain stitch or two to get the size I wanted. I basically stitched in order “closest next”, but with hindsight it could be useful to leave things like the little separate dots until later, using them to finetune balance. Next I used a light weight fusable (Misty Fuse) to add netting for light areas of colour and some habotai silk for a few strong bits of the purple.

The rest of the stitching was variations of cretan and straight stitches.

Project 2 Stage 3 - A Sample

The result stayed fairly close to the original inspiration – a few changes and simplifications. I think I was able to keep a fair amount of the liveliness and energy that attracted me. The netting is a bit too dark and intrusive. Possibly a paint wash would have been closer, but I didn’t want to repeat the original technique. Some of the stitch marks don’t work well when considered individually, but are OK as part of the whole. I particularly like the layered area in the top right – net, number of layers of open cretan in purple, and just a small amount of blue straight stitch showing at the right edge and a snippet of the habotai at the left.
Overall I’m happy with the result, given my current level of development. I’m sure there are things that will make me wince when I look back (assuming I’m able to continue to develop), but I feel it’s a reasonable step in the learning process.

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Fabulous figure sculpting workshop with Kassandra Bossell!

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