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Thursday, 20 November 2014

Inspired by the Falling Leaves Continued

This past weekend the leaves finally all came off the trees and we were able to rake the whole property. And just in time because now the lawn is covered with snow. Luckily, I brought a few wonderful fall leaves indoors so I could continue to sketch and paint them.

Last week I told you I was inspired to make a larger art quilt from the leaf drawings I've been doing. I have since drawn and painted a few leaf arrangements in order to make a pattern.

I used some of the same leaves in each painting but set them up differently. The top painting was done last and you can see how the colours of the leaves have changed from sitting around for a week. The colours are less vibrant. They have become more brown in colour. So I've learned something and that is, I have to paint them early in the fall to get better colour. Now I have to decide which set up to use for my quilt. Or perhaps I'll do them all.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Inspired by the Falling Leaves

I have raked my yard twice with the help of my son and his family. But some of my trees are still full of leaves and the ground is covered AGAIN! I have to tell you that raking leaves is not a favourite job of mine. And when you have to do it more than once in a season...well...that makes it my least favourite task.

However, leaves are the most interesting things to sketch and paint as they dry up and curl. I wrote about how I was inspired by them a few weeks ago. I also posted the sketches I did of them. Well, this week I was inspired to make some fabric cards using the sketches as a pattern. I really like the way they turned out.

I traced my paintings onto tracing paper making sure to distinguish all the different values and colours.

Then I photocopied the tracings so I could mark them with numbers for each different outlined shape or value so I knew where to position the pieces.

Then I selected some fabric that were the colours of the leaves and had interesting texture on them. It was a good way to use up some of the small fabric scraps I had left over from other projects. (You know I don't throw any of it out).

Using another piece of tracing paper, I traced each shape separately and used the tracing paper as a pattern to cut the shape out of fabric. Note that I ironed a product called Heat N Bond to the back of the fabric before I cut the shapes out. That way each shape has a backing on it that will adhere to another piece of fabric (in this case the background fabric) when it is ironed.
Here is where it becomes tricky. I have to determine which pieces to put on first as I often overlap the pieces to get the look I want.

In the photo above I have laid down the shadow of the leaf and the underside of the leaf that shows because of the leaf curl.

Here you can see how I built up the leaf by adding the lighter coloured top or outside pieces of the leaf. Once this was completed, I free-motion stitched around the edges of the leaf to give it some dimension with my sewing machine. I also free-motion stitched the veins and the stem of the leaf.

Adding a phrase or word and some embellishments, the fabric card is complete.

This activity has now inspired me to make a larger art quilt with curling fallen leaves on it. So this afternoon I will do some more leaf sketching with that project in mind. Depending on how far I get with that, I may blog about it next week. So stay tuned..............

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Sketchbook Skool Week 2 and 3

Week two of my Sketchbook Skool course was on "Selfies". That is, self portraits. I did a few of them while looking into a mirror but OH they turned out bad. We were not allowed to use a pencil. We were only allowed to use a marker or a pen. You know what that erasing. What you put down is what stays down. I am sharing the best of 3 that I did and that gives you an idea how bad the others were. What's worse is I can't draw without my glasses on and I don't like drawing them on my face. I was also allowed to do a drawing from a photograph which I haven't done yet so then I can leave the glasses out of the drawing.

Week 3 was on continuous contour line drawings. This means you choose something to draw but you draw the outline of the object or objects and any detail you'd like to include without lifting your pen off the paper. It's not as easy as it sounds because you have to try not to repeat a line or go back on the same line.

This was my first attempt and as you can see I couldn't get back to complete the other side of the large vase. I started at the top on the mouth of the vase and ended where the dot is on the back of the bird. I did go back on some lines though. I'll have to do more of this to practice. I do think it is an interesting drawing, however. Then we were told to do a continuous contour line drawing on watercolour paper and then paint it.

I used the same subject but doing it the second time, I was able to plan my route so I could get the whole drawing in. Even though the artwork isn't fantastic, I do learn something every time I try a new technique and that's exciting.