I remember watching Disney’s Alice in wonderland on VHS when I was little. Sure it was a little scary to watch back then but it was also very fascinating. My favorite scene was “Golden afternoon” where all the flowers would sing to Alice about themselves. I guess I liked to sing along with them… It’s nice to realize that I love the movie and especially the Golden afternoon scene after all these years.
My working desk is a bit of a mess because of all the necklaces I store on it. To have it tidier, I needed to make something to hang them from. Is there anything more convenient than a painting paired up with a rack for jewelry?
Few years ago I got a set of Inktense pencils as a Christmas present. I had been using them on paper until now, but only recently I had the confidence to give them a try on fabric! This was my first attempt but I think I learned a few tricks I can share with you.
I cut a piece of white linen to serve as my canvas for the painting. I cut it at least two centimeters bigger on each end in the case the fabric would fray. I also ironed fusible interfacing (that is what “tukikangas” is in English, finally I figured it out ;D) to the wrong side of it and then it was ready for sketching. I drew couple quick sketches on paper before I started to work with canvas but otherwise I just randomly drew what I had in my mind. Surprise is half the fun of creating something in my opinion.
The photo below is probably the worst photo ever. I had to darken it almost to the extreme so that the sketching would be visible. Hope you see my shaky pencil marks.
Then it was finally the time to use my Inktense pencils on fabric! The process of painting/drawing with them is similar to that of watercolor pencils: you can draw on dry or on wet to achieve a different effect. I wanted the background to be misty so I decided to apply the colors on dry canvas and then dampen the fabric to make them blend. I used very small amounts of colour: if you have never used Inktense pencils before, you should know that water makes the color brighten and stick to the material you are painting on. I didn’t want the sky to be too bright because the flowers were going to be the center of attention.
Even though the color should be permanent, I probably wouldn’t wash this in the machine. I’m a little afraid that washing will ruin the picture, so if you want to paint on dresses for example, you should try using some kind of fabric medium instead of water.That would be a better option too, if you wanted to make something detailed with these pencils because it’s impossible to predict the way the colors start to blend with water.
I used many kinds of blues, greens and browns for the sky, grass and ground. Before my dampened dry-on-dry began to dry once again, I drew individual blades of grass over it plus some tiny pebbles. Here you can see what my painting looked at this point. I left blank spot where ever I was going to draw flowers, Alice or clouds later on. (Clouds would of course be left blank ;)).
Once it had dried completely, I started to add the flowers. Because I wanted them to pop up, I drew them dry-on-wet. What this means is that I simply applied small amount of water on canvas with a painting brush and then drew the flower on it. I made each of them individually so the canvas wouldn’t have time to dry. Trick number one I learned during the process is that you will want to leave some white here and there between the lines you draw. If you compare the rose and the daffodils below, you notice how the rose looks much more realistic. Trick number two is to not overwork it. The purple dahlia on the lower left corner ended up in a big mess because I couldn’t stop adding new colors over the old ones. Well, you live and learn.
After all the flowers had dried, I painted Alice with fabric paints and added bunch of daisies. I also highlighted the whites and yellows on all the flowers with the paints (and on the clouds) for I couldn’t make them bright enough with ink pencils. The light blue in Alice’s dress is actually metallic paint but I love the special effect it gives.
The next thing to do was to cut away the extra fabric I had left around the piece and then sew strips of cotton on each side. If I remember correctly, the strips were five centimeters wide. I sewed the longer sides first and then the shorter ones (which is usually the order when quilting).
I don’t have pictures of it, but at this point I cut two rectangular pieces of white cotton to serve as my loops for the wooden bars. I folded twice their edges inward lengthwise and secured it with machine stitching. After that I cut the edges of the painting to be straight and I also cut a piece of cotton that was the same size and placed them right sides facing each other (I placed the loops between the layers and also left an opening to turn it the right way out). Then I turned it the right side out and sewed the opening shut. The painting part was now done!
All that was left was the embellishing of the wooden bars. I began by painting them teal with acrylics. Because I wanted to have stripes on them, the next thing to do was to wrap tape around them.
You can probably guess that after that I painted some new colors over the taped teal. I used white, light yellows and browns for this. When the paint had dried, I peeled the tape off. Aren’t they pretty?
The piece of tape ended up to be quite inspiring, too. I don’t know why, but it reminded me of butter flavored popcorn… (Yep, sewing makes you hungry :))
The last few steps were covering the bars with indoor varnishing and creating a hanging loop for the painting. For the loop I used fishing line and two metallic crimp beads. I attached the loop to the upper wooden bar. Here is a close-up photo of the loop:
And finally a picture of the finished project. It’s somewhat narrower than the pictures above but I had to cut some distracting things away from around the painting itself (hope you don’t mind).
I’m super happy with the end result! Plus, I’m also proud to have written this post because it’s the longest so far. Yey! A huge thank you to all of you who had the patience to read it to the end :). The next post should be up in a couple of weeks.
Once again, thank you for reading!