Inspired by Nature
Previously, I described how my recent doll making has been greatly inspired by autumn leaves motif, which I have explored and used extensively in the development of my ideas. So I wanted to expand upon this a little further.
Feathers and Leaves
I realised that, after my leaf obsession, I went through a similar process with feathers. It occurred to me that when a feather or a leaf is simplified into its basic shapes and outlines, each mirrors the other in terms of shape and linear quality.
Drawing Autumn Leaves
I really loved this photo, which I took of fallen autumn leaves. I made some sketches when creating design ideas form my autumn doll collection and incorporated the leaves directly on to the doll’s body.
The Fear of a Blank Page
To overcome the fear of a blank page, I normally put a background colour down first. So a wash of watered down mixed red and orange acrylic paint was used to cover the page first. I did not copy the image exactly but selected the most interesting leaves in terms of autumnal colour, which I loosely copied using dry watercolour pencils. I have discovered that the pencils have a stronger vibrancy when kept dry and used on top of a background colour.
These ideas of colour, shape and line were then translated into machine embroidered handmade felt.
I then explored using free machine embroidery, over hand painted fabric in acrylic paint. I love the line quality that is achieved from the continuous line of a thread when using this technique. The sewing machine and thread are therefore used to draw the veins of the leaves.
In contrast, I created simple prints of the feathers, using non-other than recycled pizza box polystyrene.
This was surprisingly effective, allowing me to explore printing the motif in both acrylic paint and screen printing ink.
I am looking forward to now experimenting with this further and will share the results with you.