After I blitzed through the top half of the artwork, the more detailed bottom half with Buzz is coming along at a slower pace, mostly because of my changed work hours and good old-fashioned procrastination. Every time I look down at what I’ve managed to complete after five or six hours of work, I think to myself, is this all I’ve done today? However I am quite happy with the way it’s looking so far.
With plenty of free time and nowhere to go, I’m off to the flying start with this one, completing what usually would be a month’s worth of work in a week. I already had leftovers of about a hundred different shades of silk and satin, so I had to make very few trips outside for the supplies. For now, I’ve decided to leave the small details (like Rex the dinosaur’s teeth) for later, since they’re too fine for fabrics and I’ll probably have to do them with paper instead.
Because of the restrictions, I lost the luxury of using my Mum’s nice big dining table, but though the conditions in my apartment are more cramped, it’s been workable so far. I had to tell off my cat a few times for jumping on the working table and sniffing around, but most of the time he just wanted to curl up inside my fabrics box. Any new box is an instant cat magnet, and if that keeps him away from more destructive behaviour, fine, have a nappa.
I’m making this one for my little niece, who loves Toy Story (my sister is also a big Disney/Pixar fan, so everybody’s happy). I found an existing Toy Story art that’s absolutely perfect for my medium, but I tweaked the colour scheme; less artsy, more kid-friendly. I’ve already done away with some smaller details (sorry Bo Peep!), but I suspect I’ll have to simplify this a lot more along the way, or do the finer details with paper rather than fabric.
Now I hope I can round up all the materials before the next wave of coronavirus measures closes down everything. A time-consuming indoor hobby would be really handy now that I have six weeks off work in the next three months, and a strong possibility of the Australia lockdown happening.
I really wish I could have kept this one for myself, it’s one of my favourite pieces that I’ve done so far. The fire effects worked out pretty well – I ended up using layered transparent fabrics to simulate the flames, and shiny red and gold fabrics for accents. They definitely added a lot to the artwork.
The moment of truth this past weekend, as I finally combined the main figure with the background! This deceptively simple task took me about five hours; I had to cut out the shape along the edge very carefully with the scalpel, then paint the edges to mask the white cardboard. Next up is finishing a few small details of the armour that would have been too fine to cut out, and doing the fire effects… somehow.
The scary gentleman is progressing nicely and I’m having fun working with leather as my main material. The best thing about leather is that you don’t have to carefully iron every. single. piece. before sticking it on. I still have no clue how I’m going to make the fire effect, but, as Scarlett O’Hara used to say, I’ll think about that tomorrow.
The background is finished! Compared to the previous piece I’ve done for my brother it was easy-peasy, but then I suspect that every artwork I do from now on will be short and sweet in comparison.
Every one of my artworks involved some luck along the way, and this time I was stoked to find the crinkly silky fabric of just the right ochre shade (finding the right colour can be a bitch). Another unexpected bonus was getting the air bubbles effect on the gold fabric I’ve used for the sky; in any other artwork it would have been a disaster, but with this one the more texture the better. Now it’s time to begin on the main figure and the real fun starts.
I’ve started on my next fabric artwork project, once again requested by my brother. This time he wanted me to base it on a video game called Dark Souls III, featuring this rather intimidating gentleman who seems to be experiencing serious wardrobe malfunction:
This will be an interesting challenge; it’s not the easiest image to execute with fabrics and will most likely require a mix of materials like leather and paints and some thinking outside the box.
For now, I’ve finished creating the template. From my previous experience I knew better than attempting to do the drawing in Illustrator straight from the image – I reduced the opacity of the image, printed it out, traced over it with a pen, scanned it, then did a vector drawing in Illustrator. Now it’s time for trawling through the fabric stores.