Tuesday, January 24, 2006

About Faces



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.

14 comments:

Suze said...

Though the Bridgart technique looks interesting...its not my cup of tea at the moment...(I am female...I can change my mind later if I want to)

hum...a little bit different approach to the inks than the class I took...we did not do any white crayon stuff before starting the shading. Used light box to trace elements from enlarged photocopy or sketch onto plastic sheet with fine black sharpie, then outlined with neutral pencil on the muslin - we used a Rosy Beige Prismacolor...then started in on the inks. She did mention you could use fabric oil pastels and gel pens and fabric crayons... but we didn't get into actually using them...

::start Mad Scientist Voice:: Must experiment...mind is overflowing with ideas!::end Mad Scientist Voice::

Scrapmaker said...

Suze,
I neglected to mention that Cheryl does amazing completely realistic threadpainting, and she showed us a few of those techniques as well. I think her two day class covered more of that. This "crazy" portrait one was to loosen up and get comfortable with the whole machine embroidery thing, as well as to explore new possibiilities.
I plan to applique my crazy face on a tote bag. Jen

Jules said...

I LOVE the crazy portrait. What fun! I will have to look for that book when it comes out. It sounds like you had a great time.

Micki said...

The crazy portrait is cool and looks like something fun to try at least once. There was someone (can't remember who it was now)on Simply Quilts that demonstrated the inks, but she didn't use the white either. Nice job on both pieces.

sophie said...

What an interesting pair of classes. I love both your portraits.

jenclair said...

Looks as if you made the most of your time. Love both of your portraits!

Gerrie said...

Oh my gosh, I love the first impressionistic portrait. It is just fabulous.

PaigeTurner said...

Wow! Fun AND fabulous!
Cool work!
Beth

MargaretR said...

I am another who is hoping to have a go on the crazy portrait soon. I love both portraits being so very different in style. Good to be able to do both styles.

Debra Spincic said...

I think the crazy quilt portrait looks like a bunch of fun! The other approach is too academic for me!

Sande said...

The 'crazy' portrait looks like lots of fun. I think I need to try that! Thanks for showing it. Making one's own cord also sounds interesting...gonna have a go at that too. Anything to help 'loosen up' is good.

Samantha said...

Very interesting and fun face you have there! I am working up the courage to try a self-portrait, having no background in art, and yours is great inspiration!

The Calico Cat said...

Thanks for sharing...
I hope to get my kitty faces to look nice with pigma pens...

Anonymous said...

Very cool design! Useful information. Go on! »