I always love creating a face from fabric. I use a lot of prints and always find it fun to see what works and what doesn’t.
This shows the first figure in my current piece with the first three layers. There is very little of the lightest layer. I love this beige rose fabric. My DH bought it for me years ago, and it was the inspiration for my first portrait with prints.
The next layer is bold — a red print. Even I’m a little dismayed at what it gives me at this point — but I know that I have to have the darker fabrics for it to make sense — and I decided to use the beige and red print because the figures are at the beach and have sunburns.
This shows the next darker value and outlines her eyes, her mouth, a little of her nose.
The next darker value emphasizes these — but it’s clear that it isn’t going to work for the mouth. She is looking down and has her face in shadow, but her lips this dark make her look dead — and she is a very young girl with a blush to her lips.
My first try is unsuccessful. I use the red and beige print as my starting point and build onto that with reds — but the cherry red is too much.
The more rust red looks better for her mouth. I have also added her two front teeth.
And then this shows the final face with the final dark shadows for the eyelashes and the red mouth. Because she is looking down, we don’t get to see her eyes — but her personality comes through her mouth.
The hair is difficult. Sometimes when I am drawing, I forget that I have to go back and actually cut all of this out. It took me several days to do her hair, but I think the end result is worth it.
She has brown hair with blond highlights so the first layer is a very light cream.
The next layer is more golden.
And the third layer is even more golden.
With the fourth layer, I found a wonderful fabric that sits between gold and brown.
After that, the first brown layer goes down and you can really see her hair taking shape.
The next brown makes up more of the dark underneath part of the hair.
A few black accents and she is finally done.
This is the first time that I’ve assembled a piece on a teflon sheet. I usually put the entire piece on white muslin but my pieces are getting too complex and large for that format so I’m trying the teflon with parts at a time. Working on the hair and all of those small pieces, I did start to worry that it would all fall apart when I tried to peel it off.
But it didn’t. It came off beautifully.
And this is what she looks like on my black design wall.
For me, this is the magic — taking something innocuous like printed fabric and making it into something realistic.
I’m not certain that I’ll leave her mouth like that. The two corners are a little large — but the overall picture was taken from above — so I think I’ll wait until more of it is complete to decide if I’ll change it or not.