I declared some days ago that I wanted to work with this heady combination of media, which includes coloured pencils, thermofax screens, my new fabric, and recycled photographs.
So I started by drawing leaves and fish using one of my photographs of the pond at the Botanical Gardens here in Birmingham as reference. I didn’t want to draw a picture, but wanted to isolate then make elements to use in a mixed media piece.
I drew the leaves and fish in a mix of pencils, generally using non- soluble drawing pencils under soluble pencils. I used textured watercolour and Khadi paper, and cut the completed leaves and stalks out ready to apply to the fabric background.
I had previously printed the fabric using thermofax screens with acrylic, then over- dyeing with procion dye.
I particularly like using the pencils in a speedy, sketchy manner. This leaf has an under drawing using Derwent drawing pencils, which are non- soluble and quite waxy. Over those I used Graphitint pencils, with a splash of water to achieve a loose water colour effect. Both of these sets of pencils come in a range of subtle colours, so I drew the fish using Polychromos pencils, which offer a range of very strong and bright colours, including metallics.
I had in mind Byzantine mosaics; I wanted to make a rich and colourful piece of work, although my daughter said the fish was on the steampunk side of the equation. Steampunk Byzantine, that’ll do for me.
The whole piece, with the drawn leaves, fish and stems laid onto the fabric, then machine stitched. The leaves and fish were also collaged with organza and snippets of photographs. After machine stitching I applied some gold leaf to the fish. The photographs, mostly of my work, were cut up and used as a frame. It’s about 85 x 50 cm.
I bought these rectangular beads some time ago, and they suited the mosaic/slightly mechanical look of the fish.
The background fabric was printed with acrylic paints using some of my thermofax screens, then dyed; when the piece was constructed, I over- printed with another screen, using bronzing powders mixed with acrylic gloss medium.
Below are some details; I have more hand stitch and beads to add.
If you want you can double click on the images; they will appear on a separate screen. One or two will be slightly bigger, but all are sharper images.