Thursday, March 02, 2006

The Weaver, part 3

First, a little bit about the fabric I used. I had experimented with doing some monoprinting of textures on solid colored fabrics. These ended up working quite well for most of the piece.

For the face I made another monoprint. I put a big sheet of glass over my cartoon face and painted on the glass just shadows and some texture to indicate the face, then printed that onto a tan fabric.

Once I had fused the figure and the main weaving, I decided adding the other weavings would be too much. I took a photo of the piece and tried some possibilities in Photoshop.

The first used one of my mono print fabrics. I loved the texture, which reminded me of stucco walls, but the color was really dead. The warmer brown in the second one was better colorwise, but too smooth and characterless.

The solution was to overpaint the textured fabric with transparent Setacolor fabric paint.

I also realized that the blue in the weaving was too light, too bright. So it got a wash of darker blue as well.

As the piece got fused, I also did quite a bit of painting and adding color with pastel pencil. I looked at that white blouse for a long time and pondered whether to add the typical lace and embroidery and whether to add modeling and shading to it and decided, ultimately, to leave it very plain and flat, despite the fact that the rest of the clothing is shaded and modeled. I liked the flat graphic quality of that blouse in contrast to the color, texture and dimensionality of the rest of the piece. Some detail would be added with the quilting.

When I started quilting, I started with the background. The weaving was quilted with horizontal lines which suggested, to me, the texture of the weaving. The quilting in the rest of the background followed the texture. When I started on the face, it was with great trepidation. I felt I could easily ruin the face if not quilted correctly. I chose to quilt only the receding and shadowy areas, using a purple thread. I think it worked out just "OK". I am not altogether satisfied with what the quilting has done for the face. It has, as I feared, created more texture, more light and shadow than I really wanted. This is something I think I will be working on again and experimenting more. Perhaps I should have used Wonder Under and really fused that face flat and firm and fairly stiff. Something to try . . .

The final decision was whether to bind it or not. I did not and I am happy with the clean edge finish. For better or worse it is finished. I am very tired of looking at it and have lost all perspective, so I will put it away for awhile and move on to the next thing.

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