So, right after the cat portrait, I decided I wanted to play with Inktense again! Not only that, another portrait. The fearless and crazy spell was still in full swing.
After getting my sketch onto my white fabric (I like the ready-to-dye fabric; it’s pre-treated), and taping it down, I then started coloring him with Inktense pencils, which is very much like using colored pencils. I was working on dry fabric.
Once I was done with the pencils and Inktense blocks, I sprayed and painted him with water, trying to control the inks from bleeding uncontrollably. Here you can see his forehead is wet. I used foil under the paper but I found that caused the water to spread and pool, so I’d recommend using a smooth layer of batting when you’re ready to add water! (This is what I did in future projects.)
After the fabric was dry I did some thread painting and quilting. I then added the blue strips to create a frame effect. For the whole thing, I used one layer of cotton and one layer of wool batting on top of the cotton. If I had one thing to do over I’d have quilted him on the cotton only, or not quilted the right side of his face. The shady side of his face looks like he got chewed on by bears or maybe fell asleep next to a candle while writing a new play! Alas, poor Willie! Oh well. I am still learning!!! Nothing ventured, nothing gained (or screwed up)! ha.
I then quilted the blue border to simulate a frame for the portrait. I turned the edges under. This was really the first time I’d attempted feathers other than a few fleeting tries during practice. I was glad they turned out so well. It helps, too, if you use the same color thread as your fabric, especially when backtracking. This makes the stitches look even better than they might really be, a bonus for us newbies! Because while you’re new to this and learning, it’s all too easy to be hard on yourself. Seeing yucky stitches staring back at you can be distracting and bum you out Yes, I know, I use a lot of contrasted threads but that’s because I’m too stubborn to let anything bum me out; full speed ahead. See? Fearless! Fearless takes you where you want to go!
And here’s the finished piece. It’s 11×17″ Since my daughter is a high school English teacher I sent this to her. She hung it in her classroom…or said she did…maybe she said to herself, “His face looks chewed on by bears, I can’t put this in my classroom!” Maybe I should send bandages just in case? This piece was completed in April 2017.
© Beverly Guhl 2018