OK…..it has now been over two weeks since I created the young man (even though I only posted about it yesterday) and I was ready to start on the woman. She is not proven to be an easy or fast creation, but I have certainly learned a lot. But, lets start at the beginning……
Firstly, on Saturday afternoon my friend Anita arrived at my door with a bag full of hand dyes that she had made as possible flesh tone fabrics. This was in payment for some quilting that I did for her last month.
Secondly, as I looked at the pattern that I had drawn, and went back to the original photo to see the details of the picture, I realized that the photo taken from the internet was too small to be blown up to show the needed details. So, I asked my husband to take photos of me sitting in the same position as the woman in my pattern and then I used the 8 mega-pixel photo to create the pattern for her face and hands. My thought was that, when translated into fabric, you wouldn’t be able to tell who it was.
I drew the patterns out and then used my photo copier to enlarge them to an appropriate size. On to the studio……
When I started, I was planning to turn under the edges (except for the REALLY small pieces) and then use machine applique (blanket stitch with monofilament thread) to attach them. I started out by cutting the face and other needed shapes out of freezer paper. I spent some time looking at fabrics and decided which ones I would use. In the back of my mind, I remembered reading that you had to use a lot of contrast, but thought that I had picked my fabrics well.
Then the rot set in…… As I was working on the first of the face shadows, I realized that I had not used the proper side of the pattern and that the face was going in the wrong direction. So, I re-cut those pieces and started again.
I decided to go ahead and sew one of the larger shadows onto the base fabric, but really didn’t like how it looked, so I changed my mind about the type of applique and decided to fuse all of the shadings onto the background.
SO, I started again!!! This time I was really happy with the look of the face. The shadings were good and it was really looking like a face. As I quit for the evening, I put the face up on the design wall, next to the original young man and walked away.
As I turned around to turn off the light, I realized that…..1) in comparison with the young man, the face was too small, and 2) there was not enough color or contrast in the face…. when viewed from a distance it looked like a light pink blob with brown hair!!! Oh well, there was always tomorrow!!!
On Sunday afternoon, I sat down again and started working on yet another face…this time about 10% larger than the previous one. I took the darkest fabric from the original face and made it the base fabric for the new face. The first shadow that I wanted to add was the darkest one and I couldn’t find a piece of fabric that was the correct color. After thinking about it, I finally pulled out the black RIT dye again and dunked a small piece of the hand-dye to darken it.
I drew the shadow design on freezer paper, applied it to the fabric and then realized that I had, once again, used the wrong side of the pattern and the piece was backwards (By the way, this has been a recurring theme…you would think that I would learn !!!)
After re-doing the first shadow, I continued adding fabrics and getting really excited about the result. I had always been told that a face is not made up of lines, but of shadows and I can now see what they were talking about.
I think that I will stop the saga here and continue tomorrow, but here is a photo of the final face….and it really does look like me!!!