Today's post is about the "portrait workshops" I took at Road to California. By far, I had the most fun in Cheryl Bridgart's workshop "The Impressionistic Portrait". (Don't think of the French painters, think of it in general terms). Cheryl says there will be a website soon and book to follow, and I certainly hope so because she was terrific. Short version of this class: Fuse fabric strips onto a fusible interfacing (Turn fusible side up, arrange, press under applique sheet). Make a background by doing free motion embroidery like crazy. Place and couch cording to create line. Follow up with embellishment and more embroidery. Cheryl also taught us how to make our own cord (twist thin torn fabric strips and sew together.) This was fun, fun, fun. I had the afternoon free in the hotel to continue working, and I recommend this as being a lot more satisfying than going straight to another class.
I did not take my camera with me to the workshops, but it was just as well since I was too busy trying to keep up to do any documentation. I have discovered that half day or evening workshops are just not long enough. This was especially true in the "Faces Workshop" by Trish Stuart on Thursday night since there were several techniques we did not cover. I really debated about showing you this because it is very unfinished AND because I don't like it too much. However, knowing that everybody loves the visual, here it is.
The good news is that I got a little feeling for working with the Tsukineko inks and will go forward with practicing from here. The short version of the workshop is: divide your face into sections of light, medium and dark. (We used photographs inside page protectors and a dark marker to outline areas. Placing your PFD white fabric over this, you can see the lines underneath.) Apply a coat of white crayon and melt it into the fabric by ironing between paper towels. Apply the inks and blend like crazy, adding little by little and using more white if you need to. Start with the lightest and work slowly towards the dark. Fabric markers can be used at the end to add details.
I am not about to launch into making a bunch of realistic portraits any time soon, but I want to be able to use the technique if I need it as part of a larger work.