Monday, February 26, 2007

Cherubs, continued

Today I managed to get the full quilt traced onto fabric, then started the inking process. I have another piece of fabric waiting in the wings in case disaster strikes! This is a bit of a nail biting process, as each thing added to the fabric is permanent...I know the dyes are water soluble until heat set, but it's really hard to lift just a tiny area if something goes wrong...or to just heat set what's going right, then throw the whole works in the washer to see if the bad stuff comes out.
So far I've done the initial two washes (banana and apricot) placing in the highlights and the beginning of the shadows. I have to admit I quite like doing those first two washes, they are when line drawing moves into the background and more 3dimensional work begins to emerge.

The last wash of the night was the most heart stopping so far, though, as it was GREEN. Just touching the paintstick to the fabric feels like asking for trouble! Every mark shows. The amazing thing about these little paintsticks (Fantastix, my preference is the brush tip) is that they don't drip! The stand for the dyes is really stable, too, so I don't worry about knocking over the little bottles.
Once I got going, though, it was a ton of fun. As it turns out you can give this a really authentic watercolour feel by dry brushing the dye in (on top of the previous washes), wetting it with a stiff brush - I kind of 'scrubbed' the water in - then placing a paper towel and iron on top of it to both lift some of the dye and stop it from bleeding as it blends...all while heat setting it. It's a bit of a 'found' method, as there's no real way to know how it's going to look until removing the iron and paper towel, but colour can be built up in reasonably controllable layers this way.
Ah! Many colour layers yet to go, and I MUST get some sleep yet as tomorrow is the day I work over at the Elementary School doing the Roots of Empathy classes.
It's hard to walk away from, but I must. Next are the purples, the browns and blues...NOW we're going to see some dimension.
Sweet dreams,

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