First, something about Alphonse Mucha. He was one of the figureheads of Art Nouveau, the complete style (incorporating architecture, painting, glass art, jewelery, furniture and industrial design) of the early 20th century. His paintings would be what most people would think of when told "art nouveau" - women with flowing hair and robes, surrounded by elaborate vines and flowers - all rendered neatly and beautifully in pastel and vivid shades. Overall the effect of his paintings is elaborate and delicate, and at the time revolutionary.
Unfortunately because of the huge spike of imitators of Mucha's work, as well as overpopularity and his work being considered purely commercial, the bottom eventually dropped out of art nouveau and it began to look hopelessly outdated and camp. The art style had a revival in the 1960s with hippy psychedelic art, which after a while began to look incredibly dated in its own right.
Even after accounting for tastes and trends, Alphonse Mucha was an extremely talented artist. There is a reason why much in the way of modern art nouveau styled work is created digitally (search for "art nouveau" on Google images or Deviantart and you will find many modern works, most of which are created using digital programs). To put it simply, the elaborate nature of art nouveau requires incredible precision. It is very hard to get pure areas of perfectly flat colour using traditional paint and printmedia techniques, much as it is very hard to create perfectly precise lines or repeating motifs. The duplication and precision are much easier when using a digital program, complete with copy, paste, fill tools and shape tools.
Now something about this piece. For better or for worse, I am not Alphonse Mucha, and do not have nearly such a steady hand. As a result my art nouveau is of a slightly less elaborate, and more rough and ready nature.
Art nouveau is quite a feminine style (even though almost every artist and designer involved in the movement was male) and Mucha mainly depicted women. As a consequence I have been trying to depict men in art nouveau. For some reason I thought of Heath Ledger'sJoker, whose rough yet elaborate, messy and disfigured appearance contrasts with the delicacy of the art movement (not to mention hair long enough to show swirling around.)
And that's my attempt! Congratulations on having the patience to scroll this far!
I haven't done much in the way of drawing or painting for almost two months, but after handcolouring one of my prints with watercolour, I felt in the mood to do some watercolour work, but didn't know what. After sizzling with artistic frustration for some reason I found a movie still of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (which I haven't actually seen but I decided I liked the character's victory roll hairstyle) so I painted a version of it.
I'm not too much chop with watercolours as far as "producing something that looks like a photo" goes, but I suppose it has its own look so it's alright. Doing dark colours like dark browns and blacks often turns out a bit on the dodgy side, since you either spend 5 years layering paint, or you slap down so much pigment it looks dark and shiny and ugly. I used ink for some of the blacks and it shows.
Secondly, I entered a youth portrait prize a while ago, but didn't win or even place so I think I can put the work on my site now. In this particular picture, I'm supposed to be making a quizzical half-raised eyebrow expression, rather than looking haywire, but I guess the effect is the same either way. Done with tea and one of my favourite colour limiting techniques (using a tiny set of basic colours and layering them, usually a blue, red, green, yellow, brown and black pencil.) I'm rather better at pencil than watercolour so I suppose I should stick to drawing instead of painting. Ha.
So we started doing lithography. I couldn't think of anything to draw so I just did this bear first offLithography is a pretty bizarre process. Much like etching it hasn't exactly changed much since "back in the day" over 200 years ago. I'm doing a rare trade!
It's basically drawing on a stone which then you have to treat with pine resin and liquid gum and turps and bitumen, and when printing you have to keep water running over the stone to resist the ink. Sadly this isn't a really cool waterfall contraption like I thought it would be - instead it's a sponge.
This is a lithographic stone. The image is painted on in tusche - basically greasy ink. The ink sticks to the tusche and prints. just a watch headed man - a bit of a throwback to the other object-headed people I did in previous prints.
A self portrait of me eating grass, based on a moment of crushing boredom when I decided to have a mouthful. Grass isn't bad - it's just very tough, and obviously a poor food source. An idea I had one morning - completely absurd. It's a very large print so I had to photograph it rather than scan it. I left the labels off on this one, so it's a little open to interpretation. Or i could just go ahead and say what they are all supposed to be..
The two last ones are very large scale so I did them on aluminium plate rather than stone - easier to draw and to carry, but a LOT harder to print. The printing filled me with rage.
For university midyear we were given the brief of finding a well known, previously depicted narrative and doing three separate illustrations. Now classically I could have chosen something like the Birth of Venus, but I was thinking more something from a classic children's story, that was frequently illustrated by different artists. So I chose Pippi Longstocking cause I thought I'd have the most fun with it - but decided to run with the idea that Pippi is an abandoned child, rather than the parodic idealistic version everyone else runs with. Etching is by nature a rather grim smoky looking technique so it would be hard to do something ridiculously sunny. This isn't to say that I was going to be hopelessly irredeemably depressing with the subject however. It's a children's book, it shouldn't be overanalysed.
I was rather taken by the mention in the book of Pippi lifting her horse about the house. Everyone who sees this image who hasn't read the book comments on the fact that it is extremely unlikely that a nine year old could carry a horse in a fireman's carry, but the character is described as the strongest girl in the world, so why not? Only she might possibly do it in a more show-offy "using only my left index finger' way than this..
I attempted to try spit biting for shading (which is a way of painting acid onto the plate.) However it's rather tedious and very hard to get much more than exceedingly blobby shading. It works alright on softer things such as fur or animals and humans, but I would avoid it for hard-edged things such as buildings.
I also liked the idea of Pippi dressed in her father's nightshirt, firing antique pistols in the attic.
The final image was made with very detailed shading. Above is the copper plate, with the drawing showing through the bitumen.
This final scene is when the police come to take Pippi to a children's home. However she eludes them by climbing onto the roof.
Generally I'd say I enjoy illustrating narratives - the image is already provided. All I have to do is interpret it!
Three etchings that took rather a long time to do. I will endeavor to tell you a little more about the process as I have learned that printmedia is something that is very hard to understand unless you've done it yourself or have seen it done.
When someone refers to "intaglio" or "etching" typically the print will be done with a copper plate. Pure copper is coated in bitumen, the bitumen is scratched away with a tool to create the drawing, then the plate is put into acid (either nitric acid or dutch mordant - hydrochloric blend). The acid eats away at the exposed drawing, etching it into the plate.
Everything on a plate will print in reverse so every number or letter has to be written backwards.This piece was inspired by Cluedo (Clue). Each suspect is one of the 6 weapons personified. It measures 20 by 60 cm. The conversion from Pepperbox revolver to a more standard one was an aesthetic choice - all the other weapons are very similar to how they are depicted in the game.
This was supposed to be a picture of a hoity toity lady wearing a fox fur stole..with a paper bag over her head. Sadly my sense of scaling squashed the image onto the plate so severely that it looks more like a collection of random objects - or a fox emerging from a bag. Oh well, I don't mind. Slightly failed attempt at a soft ground. I then started putting aquatint (tone) on it and went far too dark
Trying to lessen the ridiculously dramatic difference between the white and the lightest tone, I then went at it with a burnisher. It probably needs more work still but it had taken me 3 weeks and I couldn't stand doing any more on it.
Finally, I created an image of a guillotine.
The strange x-ray effect at the top is done by using soft ground instead of bitumen. The lace and ribbons were produced by placing real lace and ribbons on top of the plate and then running the plate through the press. The guillotine was then produced the usual way - with bitumen.
I did a lot of printing this year for university. These following are all intaglio prints
This ship lady you may recognise from the gender book. A fairly crude perspex plate - the first print I did this year. I coloured her with watercolour.
An etching made from the various sites of Cockatoo island drawn on top of each other.
This one looked far better on the plate (in reverse.) Now it looks like the person is grimacing cause their eyes are in the wrong place.
I tried out soft ground. The plate was impressed with stitched paper, a swing tag and aluminium foil. We were doing some "construction and the body" theme and I couldn't really think of anything else except to start giving people buildings for heads
I had a bizarre thought - if thoroughbreds and arabians were the supermodels of the horse world, there had to be some self-conscious draft fillies out there shaving the feathers off their ankles to look less clumpy and hairy. So here's a draft horse person shaving their legs.
This was quite a quick one - a drypoint print on a strip of copper. Drypoint is when you are scratching the copper directly rather than scraping through a layer of bitumen and letting acid do the work for you. It's quite hard to do some things neatly with drypoint, which is why my writing is so wonky. Not helped by the fact that writing in almost ANY form of printmedia (bar screenprinting) has to be backwards, otherwise it will be backwards on the final image.
The image was based off something a friend said about Jude Law's version of Dr Watson, and no it doesn't make very much sense. The colourful background on the left version is chine colle
This last one was done using laundry marker as a resist, and aquatint for the blacks. Seeing as it was my first use of laundry marker I'm not sure I did a very good image - I had no idea how well it would actually resist the acid. VERY well it turns out - and turpentine doesn't dissolve it. The image is from a dream I had.
I began a photography complimentary class and shall put up the best of my photographs at the end of semester. However I'd never done manual photography before, and it's been about 7 or so years since I last used film so as always a few photos turned out irredeemably overexposed, blurry or otherwise bad. I put the photographs aside and decided to draw onto the light ones and scratch into the dark ones. No consistent theme, just what I thought fit with the existing photograph.
These "winding on the film" photographs are interesting, and no, she isn't Princess Leia.
I will confess that all of these are done with photographic references, most of them not taken by me. I will link when possible but some of the pictures will take a lot of digging to relocate - just disclaimer - unless I say otherwise I did NOT take the original photos the drawings are based on, but I DID take every single one of the photos I am drawing on.
My dear friend lent me a typewriter. Maurice refers to E.M Forster's Maurice, who was a bit of a jerk to his female relatives for no reason. Still a good book, I encourage you to check it out.
This is the first negative drawing I did - with a needle. I refined my technique somewhat since this one.
Now here's when BAD THINGS STARTED TO HAPPEN. I went through my photo albums and seized all the horrific photos I had taken when I was too young to operate a camera. However they'd been sitting there for over 10 years and I presume the photographic chemicals had degraded, because drawing on this photograph ruined 6 pens. To date I have destroyed 8 pens on this project - fineliners just end up going all grey and scratchy. It's highly enraging.
One of these women is from the Victorian times, one of them is just dressed up like it. Now which one is which?
As you can see the bold confident blacks from the last photograph were destroyed as soon as I used my two new pens on this old photograph. DAMN.
I had a rough week and scraped both my face (faceplant off my bicycle onto asphalt path) and the front of the car. We were like mirror images.
This is from a photograph where I was wearing extensively disfiguring forms of binding. The effect was extremely weird.
Thought I was going to be employed to draw cake so I was worried that I didn't know how. Had a practice.
I really should never be an architect going on this imprecise building. It's from this fantastic collection of early colour photographs.
That's all I have for the moment but there will be doubtless far more of these coming. It's quite a nice project - small steps so not too overwhelming, and a good use of all my otherwise failed photographs.
The successful photographs? Well if I can clean that infernal dust off my scanner I'll stick some of them up, or on my Flickr.
This was an image I drew for a drawing competition. I ended up leaving it "artfully unfinished" cause I didn't have enough time.
It turned out pretty wonky but still fairly satisfying, considering it's crayola. The original photograph I was working with was from a project I did where I took photos of me with my face painted to match my shirt. It's not a particularly flattering picture, but interesting enough.
I'll try and update the site more often as I do work. It's just hard to get around to actually scanning and digitising the work, particularly as I have rather a lot to juggle, and my computer is an old dinosaur.
Don't expect frequent updates, despite my good intentions
I was killing some time in the holidays and I decided to do an altered book. I found a suitable book at the second hand store for $3 - a marriage manual by Hannah and Abraham Stone. It's from 1937 so I expected the writing to be incredibly outdated. Surprisingly, a lot of the information is quite decent and still applies, being as it mainly relates to biology and science rather than morals and social norms. It even says that x rays to the testicles are not a good form of contraception. Who knew?
The book's about gender, in a way. Of course, my ideas deteriorated somewhat. It's barely finished, I'd say I've only altered about 1/10th of it!
You'll have to forgive me for my scans, hardback books don't always scan properly.
Ta da! The main thing with this one was trying to draw them in exactly the same place. I did another one later in the book:
Turns out the pages in the main body of the book don't showcase pencil very well. Who knew?
Don't mind my terrible gender politics here.
I originally intended to do some wallpaper with negative spaces, then I gave up and drew the guy over the top, using only basic colours (a fairly standard red, blue, brown, green, yellow, white and black.)I did something similar later on, except I chose a less standard set of restrictive colours. This is Roisin Murphy, but I drew a beard on her. Along the same lines, this is Robert Del Naja aka 3D from Massive Attack. I chose him to turn into art nouveau because he just has the appearance of an entirely normal looking man. If that makes sense. It probably doesn't. Funnily enough, this is the second Robert for me to turn into Art Nouveau
Art Nouveau's a very bothersome, time consuming style, which I get reminded of whenever I try to attempt it.
Speaking of 3D, I implore you to watch this video for Butterfly Caught by Massive Attack. Although it's by far not the best Massive Attack song, or my favourite, it's very visually intriguing. (When people ask what inspires me, it's usually stuff like this as opposed to fine artists!)This one's done in ordinary crayola crayons. I left my test strip in (one unwrapped green crayon looks much the same as another until you test them and one's lime green and one's forest green.)This one isn't that good. I limited the colours on the face but not on the hair/snail. Snails are hermaphrodites. It's time for self portraits! (Just in case I hadn't already had enough of them.) I also did a strange androgyny/transgender one:And now available with gender differentiation!Apparently the male one makes me look like George Michael. C'est la vie. Ships are always she, and for some reason people always presume animals are "he" until proven otherwise. The ship lady turns up in some of my later work, with a face!
Until next time. The book isn't finished, but I've put it on indefinite hold. Run out of inspiration/have too much other stuff to do. Enjoy.
This was something I did for university last year - screen prints. We were told to do something related to the theme of place (our take on our own place). Unfortunately I'm a literal thinker, so I quickly found myself hating the task, and I decided to just have some fun with screen printing instead.
I won't try and use a convoluted justification for these, as I did in my assessment. Instead, these are things, with moustaches.
Your eyes do not deceive you, this fellow is printed in a burnt umber. I thought black and white was a little too harsh. Unfortunately Photoshop seems to think these are in black and white; luckily they don't require much in the way of colour correction. Thank heavens for my new, smashing scanner!
These prints are all around 10 by 15cm. They're separate prints on quality paper measuring 18 by 25cm.
Truth be told I wanted to create prints that would be good designs. I ended up printing these on a variety of different fabrics. I made a waistcoat out of a yellow sateen, printed with these moustached characters. Unfortunately I don't have a photograph of it, because I think I did a very good job. I've misplaced some of the fabric I printed, which is disappointing.
I tried printing light on dark, but this design set doesn't work nearly so nicely in negative.
Here you can see the fine lines possible using photo emulsion. However, you can see all the imperfections which are all too easy to achieve in photo emulsion and in screen printing. It's possible to have perfect prints, but for me at least, so rare.
However, doing a run of near-perfect prints wasn't interesting enough. As well as printing on fabric, I experimented with printing over a damask design I'd printed, with varying success. Here are some of the better ones.
This last one's been exaggerated a little with colour correction.
So that was it for my little experiment. I should try doing something with these for Threadless, but I'll probably never get around to it.
Just a quick update.
I was given a green egg carton to fill with eggs and decided to take a little more care than I usually do with my carton illustrations (usually just rapid sketches of chickens.)
I did a Munch inspired one before (Screamin' chicken eggs - a play on "Squawkin' Chicken eggs" which is what I usually call them) with a hen reenacting the scream, but this time I decided to do a Mucha inspired work.
Enjoy. There might be more box art to come later.
This is a piece of work inspired by the hilariously terrible yet amazing surreal montage art on the cover of Choose Your Own Adventure game books, and the box art of Atari games.
First I was shown this brilliant art done for Panic Software and the style reminded me a little of the covers of Choose Your Own Adventure books.
The Choose Your Own Adventure books often featured strange montages of monsters, caves, forbidden lands, children dressed in 1980s fashions running away from smug heads in the sky....the Giant Floating Head seemed to be a common theme. You can see some of the book covers here
This features my brother's head in the sky, the other objects have nothing to do with anything, they just feature frequently in this style of art for some reason. I am definitely not as good with watercolour as the artist who produced the magnificent Panic Software artwork, but all in all it's a bit of fun.
I'm not sure how this came about. I think a friend of mine drew a picture, said it was bad (it was actually a very good drawing) and I decided to show him just how infinitely worse I could make a picture of the same subject - so I drew the same thing first holding a whiteboard marker in my mouth, then holding it in my foot.
This, for some reason, got me thinking. Since a lot of artistic training is in the mind rather than in the hands, how would it be if you used something other than your dominent hand to draw? One's mind still works the same way, one still knows how to draw, but it's difficult to get, say, your foot, to work the same way as your hand, even when recieving exactly the same instructions from your mind.
There was only one way to test this. To draw exactly the same thing in 5 different ways.
The last one is important, not a blind drawing, completely blindfolded, so I have no idea what colour I'm using, where the paper is, I can't look at the reference if I use one..etc.
This is also done with oil pastels - hell in itself. A decidedly crappy medium, I have no idea how anyone gets any sort of detail with these.
Well it's got that characteristic left-hang-wiggliness about it, but instead of looking like a "bad drawing" (read no grasp on anatomy) it looks more like a drawing done by someone with parkinson's disease.
Once I started holding the brush in my molars instead of my front teeth, this wasn't too hard at all. You do have to use a brush though, it's near impossible to use a media that requires any sort of pressure. I tried with a pastel first and since my face was about 5cm away from the page I quickly scrapped that idea.
Got off to a good start with the face, and then..my foot got tired. You can forget this one.
I think this one isn't helped by the fact that the media meant I had to take the brush off the page and I lost my place.
So Ok, that was that then. But unicorns are rather too easy, what about doing something I'm a) not used to drawing and b) working from the same reference.
So I chose a beetle.
So we can obviously draw the conclusion that it is possible to do a competant line drawing using a brush held in one's teeth..but what about a proper drawing, with colouring and detail? I decided to try that out, using a picture of Aphex Twin as the starting point. (I'm not a fan of Aphex Twin, but I think his..persona, if you could call it that, is hilarious.)
I can pick up the paintbrush to put it in my mouth with my hands. I can use my hands to change brush size. However, my hands cannot make a mark on the paper. I have to wash my brush and change colours using only my mouth.
So I had to do the sketch in watercolour, as opposed to pencil, due to the whole pressure thing.
One problem with the lame watercolours I was using.. no black. I tried to use a black inktense pencil to get me some more black, but that wasn't terribly easy to control with my teeth...
And finally, finished! Well, considering I used my mouth I think I did a pretty decent job. Now that's it, and hopefully onto some more serious art.
While visiting clients from hell - a site where all designers, illustrators and developers can come forward and reveal their worst clients and client request - I came across this unbelievably awful request for a logo:
Logo with Flare
Client: I already know what I want for the logo. Itís a house, with a face, and itís on wheels with an exhaust pipe coming out of the back which is shooting out smoke in the shape of dollar signs.
Naturally I began to envisage how hilariously disgusting this logo would be, and decided I'd have to draw it. So here it is. Just a simple deal with inktense derwent pencils.
However I just know that if I were unlucky enough to deal with that particular client, they would probably have said "those dollar signs aren't visible enough, can you make them a little more..ostentateous?"
(At this moment in time I am very tired of serious art, and so I only have the ability to do jocular things like this. It will probably be quite some time before I can bring myself to do something considered, or any sort of major project. I've completely run out of ideas. Such is university's effect on the young, easily discouraged and tired mind)
I had to do a course in computers at university, which to be honest did not teach me much that I didn't already know. I found it to be a bit of an exercise in tedium, but I did have an excuse to get back into one of my favourite vector programs.
We were supposed to have 10 to 15 images created, and put in a basic Dreamweaver style website. However I preferred to make my site look decent, and concentrate on making good quality images (even though I'm sure that I would have passed, or even gotten a good mark with rubbish ones. The image quality wasn't the point of this assignment - but to be honest I strongly dislike handing in things that I am not proud of.)
There was a loose theme of "self portrait" which I swiftly threw out the window and did anything I wanted to instead.
This isn't the first three dimensional modelling program I have used, the last was Rhinoceros in 2003.
As a basic exercise we were told to create a snowman, except I decided to make mine out of icosahedrons instead of spheres. I think he looks reasonably spiffing
I'm not too fond of this house, but I had to do something. And it was easier to do something square.
Photoshop. I'm not fond of this program, I'll be honest, possibly because I don't have a graphics tablet. I only really use it to levels correct and resize images. So I struggled to digitally paint in it, and in the end got these four relatively decent images together.
This is a swimming quagga (an extinct subspecies of the Plains zebra.) I drew the outline a long time ago with MS paint, and just never finished it. (Don't laugh, I was quite good at MS Paint!) I would have liked to have done water effects with this, but my skill with PS doesn't stretch to that.
I spent one of our lessons just drawing over my face and turning myself into the Joker.
This one is merely a bird with some blossoms. I deliberately kept it quite basic, for me, often simpler is easier. I sometimes prefer to use basic limited tools rather than comprehensive ones.
This one is my favourite Photoshop one; a coloured version of an ink drawing I'd done (I did several moustachioed characters - mainly objects, in ink, so that I could screenprint them onto fabric.)
Now onto the vectors:
Just a basic self portrait as some sort of zombie thing.
I turned one of my moustachioed characters, a pear in this case, painstakingly into a vector.
I really wanted to play around with colours and transparency in this one, so I drew myself wearing a white piped dress and very colourful petticoat. The tulle colours overlaying each other is one of my favourite parts. I was very pleased with this one.
This one was just a ridiculous joke gone out of proportion, but what's wrong with that? When I jokingly suggested I'd draw Robert Smith as Art Nouveau, my friend insisted I carry the threat out. This is based on the beautifully florid works of Alphonse Mucha, which have WAY too many flourishes and details for me to be able to even come close to replicating.
My friend also did his own version of Art Nouveau Robert Smith, and his is very well worth a look.
I'm not sure I should like to be forced to do so many digital images again, but I am reminded of why I enjoy creating vectors, and I feel I should keep that up. If only I had a tablet...
I was actually intending to do a series of self portraits, but luckily I decided not to, because upon my return to university it turned out that I had to do self portraits all the time. For this task the portrait didn't have to be representational, but somehow I find myself unable to do non representational work.
Instead I decided to "deconstruct" my face - starting with a realistic feather painting, than gradually doing more paintings subtracting more elements and realism until I was left with virtually nothing.
I had two days, but I knew I would only be able to use one (as the next week I would be in convalescence because I had to get my wisdom teeth out.) Unfortunately..I work far too fast. I was finished all the paintings by midday.
My starting point. This one took me the longest, naturally - probably about 40 minutes.
I'm trying to put these in descending order from "most realistic" to "least realistic" but sometimes it can be a little muddy. I also intended to go from large feathers down to tiny ones, but that got a bit muddy too. However my first feather is significantly larger than my last.
I'm beginning to lose my facial features. The first portrait is 5cm by 5cm on a cockatoo wing feather measuring 24cm by 5cm. The last portrait is 3mm by 1cm on a chicken feather measuring 6cm by 2cm.
That was all very well but I still had a lot of time left over. So I did these:
I'm not sure how I managed to look so 70s. It isn't just the colour scheme (this, the small orange/yellow feather earlier, and the other feathers below are all hand dyed cockatoo feathers.)
The teacher suggested I deliberately split a feather. I burned the other one.
Finally, a "complimentary", inspired by my classmate's typewriter.
For my brother's birthday I decided to make him a number of characters from the ngmoco/hand circus game Rolando 2 - Quest for the golden orchid. The original characters were designed by Mikko Walamies and can be seen here at the rolando 2 website
From left to right; the Floating Friend, Lord Derby Disraeli (royal treasurer), the King rolando, Major James Cardigan (royal spiky commando), Turgut Reiss (reformed pirate) and Mr Scruff, the DJ who made the music for the game. I posed them with a 30 cm ruler and a standard wine bottle to give you
an idea of the scale. The small rolandos were patterned off a
superball. The King was patterned off a lemon, and the Floating Friend from an orange. They are made out of polar fleece and/or corduroy, hand coloured and embroidered.
My brother took some (much nicer) photos which I have included just below:
The floating friend has two forms, the one I made was the huge floating sphere the friend becomes when he eats chilli.
I hope you enjoy my interpretations of these rolandos.
I'm not sure where the idea came from, but I had to do a project that incorporated some kind of stitching for textiles at uni.
So I built on my Beth Gibbons embroidery into some crazy multilayered eye embroidery applique.
It's not actually very easy to photograph or scan because it's not a perfect square.
I decided to play on the richness of patterned fabrics - brocades, silk charmeuses, burnout velvets and shimmering satins and silks, combined with the dazzling bejewelled effect of both stylised and more realistic eyes.
Hopefully you enjoy it more than my teachers did. The textiles teachers are really quite harsh, and one of them seemed to think I didn't display the necessary commitment even though I spent THREE WEEKS non stop doing this! I'm actually seriously considering transferring workshops - even though I love the work in textiles I'm really not sure I can keep on for another two and a half years with such critical and demanding teachers.
Oh well..I'm proud even if they aren't.
Ok well since embroidery takes such a long time it's nice to be able to embroider a few small things, just to check technique. Usually small motifs like flowers are used, but I find eyes much more interesting and expressive - the iris also gives you the chance to try out many variations of colour.
These are embroidered on a yellow plastic bag from a CD retailer, couched with a post it note.
It wasn't actually too difficult to embroider on this surface, although fabric would have been easier.
The stitches in this eye are scroll stitch for the yellow at the top of the eye, buttonhole stitch (which I now love) for the iris and lower eyelid, split stitch for the pupil, running stitch for the pink area and feather stitch and chain stitch for the other stuff. I tried to do french knots and turk's head knots but I can't do knots without them knotting in the WRONG place and getting a huge mess.
Much the same stitches used in these, with the addition of an open chain stitch for the lower lid. Embroidery is smashing! And since I'll probably be doing a huge project or two in textiles based JUST around eyes..I expect you'll see a lot of this sort of thing in the future.
I'd recommend you watch the film even if you are not a fan of Portishead; as it has a chilling score and incredible noir atmosphere. Well worth a look.
And 8:29? Well I decided to embroider it. Which was a terrible idea. As a general rule, embroidery is done of small motifs and designs, rather than PICTURES, this is because it takes forever. It is possibly the slowest art form ever, even slower than assembling someone's face out of the circles cut from a hole puncher. To embroider as much as I did took TWO DAYS (it's about life sized if you want to know) so I decided to call it finished.
Why embroidery? Well I love its richness and its dimensionality..I'm not actually very good at it though. Oh well, c'est la vie, I can't just draw/paint things all the time.