This is my second dancing frog.
For the first frog (Mikhail) I dyed the fabric with coloured India inks. This time I used Derwent Inktense Blocks.
I dampened a sponge, coloured it with the broad side of the Inktense block and then wiped it on the fabric. I then heat set the fabric with an iron.
For the frog skin, I used 2 different shades of green. The original fabric was white and blue. The leotard was a cream-cloloured 4 way stretch fabric.
The first All Dolled Up meeting of the season is this weekend and I have to have my summer challenge piece ready. Last spring we picked two colour chips out of a bag and our challenge was to create a fibre art piece (it doesn’t have to be a doll) using those 2 colours. It should be obvious from our piece what the 2 colours were. I decided to do a wet felted wall hanging. I didn’t have the right colours but thought that if I mixed what I had it might come close. It didn’t. Then I lost the 2 colour chips. I’m pretty sure that I know what the colours are. I have embroidery threads that are pretty close, so I decided to do one of my free motion dancers using the 2 colours. I used the lighter blue for the background and the aqua green for the figure.
Then I had the idea to do a black figure on a white background.
Lola wants to dance.
This is what Lola looked like a few weeks ago.
Since then I have had to make several versions of some of her body parts before I could get them to look the way I wanted.
I usually have a standard order in which I sew the different parts of a doll together. I sew the legs to the torso first. I sew the arms on after the clothes. I usually sew the head on before I put on the hair and then paint the face. This time I put the hair on first. Big mistake! The hair kept getting in the way as I was sewing on the head.
Painting the face comes last.
The first thing I do is draw in the features with an air erasable pen. I cover her hair with a piece of cloth to keep it out of the way and to protect it when I spray the face with fixative.
Once I get the features correct, I go over some of it with a Pigma Micron 005 brown pen. This is permanent ink.
Except for the high light in the eye, the face is painted with pastel pencils.
I use 2- 3 colours for the eyes and eyeshadow and 2 colours for the lips. The top lip is always darker than the bottom, which catches more light. I add the highlight to the eye last. I use acrylic paint applied with the tip of a needle.
I also paint the fingernails.
So here she is, practicing her routine to be ready for her audition for So You Think You Can Dance.
I worked on some more free motion embroidery dancers. The previous ones (see here) were done in off-white thread and looked good against a coloured wall or back ground. I decided to do some that looked good against a white wall.
As I did before, I photographed them outside and then inside on a wall.
After I had done the first one outside, the wind blew both frames over and broke the glass in one of them. As both mats are the same size I took the rest of the pictures using the glass-less frame.
The multicoloured cotton thread was hand dyed by Linda Palaisy. I use a lot of her thread in my work.
I love So You Think You Can Dance. This season I have been trying to sketch while watching it on TV. I have no way to record the program and stop the action, so I make very crude stick figures in various positions all over the page of my sketchbook. Afterwards, I use my little artist’s manikin and put it in the position of one of my stick figures and draw a slightly better sketch of the dancer.
Once I have a sketch I like I trace it onto water soluble stabilizer. I use free motion embroidery to fill in the figure and then add a lacy grid pattern around it to make a rectangle. In my first embroidery, I filled the background in a little more than I intended so I added some gold metallic thread to the figure to help it stand out.
I left it for a time while I decided what to do about it. It needs a back ground in order to see the figure. Hanging it in a window also works, but the sun would not be good for it.
Meanwhile I had done some more sketches and was ready to try again. I figured, as long as I have to add a background I might as well embroider it on a background and then I don’t have to make sure all the bits of the background lace is attached to other stitches. So I went off to my favourite sewing store, Yarn Forward & Sew On, to get some suitable stabilizer. Well, I did buy a little bit of stabilizer, just in case, but Jo-Ann Raven persuaded me that I should frame it in a deep frame with the fabric close to the glass leaving space behind the embroidery for light. So that is what I did. Thanks Jo-Ann.
At the moment I have not put any backing on the frame. I have photographed it hanging on a blue wall (at an angle to avoid reflections) and again out in the garden.
For my second embroidery, also on water soluble stabilizer, I did less background stitches. I think too few. In future, I will do something in between, less than the first attempt and more stitches than the second.