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Honour the Child

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BTRT Patterns (on Etsy)

Wednesday, 20 February 2008
I keep meaning to blog about my progress on any given project, to give folks an idea of the process from beginning to end. I always remember this at the end!

Tonight I remembered about 1/2 way through, so that is what you are getting! So come, take a peek over my shoulder as I work...

In March, the Take Off Your Shoes congo, of which I am a part (and the owner) is stocking to the theme of 'Once Upon a Happily' ~ items inspired by and pertaining to nursery rhymes and fairy tales. In leafing through a classic (full text) edition of Alice in Wonderland (one of my very favourites!), I was captured anew by the whimsical woodcut style illustrations ~ thankfully now in the public domain.

I particularly like this image of the White Rabbit and decided to come up with an piece of clothing for him.

I started with a 2T cotton playdress and proceeded to dye it with low water immersion. Low water immersion is, well, just that~ you can read HERE to find out more about the technique. I chose to work with shades of pink and to add a little red. Well, the red got bossy but didn't completely overtake the fuchsia and soft pink. I dyed the dress on an angle, creating more activity and marbling on the right side, building as you go down the dress. Yes, I should have taken a picture of the dress before I started painting, I didn't.

Next, I started painting. I paint freehand, so I simply reference the image as I go. Even when I do my own illustrations, I draw them first (I paint much better than I draw) so I can see the lines and shapes. I work with acrylics modified with a medium for fabric. Once cured and heat set, it is permanent and very durable.

Picking up my favourite round brush I began with a base coat of white to give me the general shape of the rabbit and to help with coverage over the red (which is difficult with white paint). I then proceeded to work on the bunny in small areas, completing each detailed space so that I could work with the paints while wet for best blending and to create the woodcut feel of shadows and strokes. Yes, I should have taken a picture before I started detailing, but I didn't.

At this point, I have the legs, scroll and trumpet done and the head part way there~ I have filled in some extra shadows across the face and will go back at them next foray to create a whiter appearance. Given that other than hearts and shadows, the White Rabbit is, well, white, this little guy is proving to be a great exercise in shading! I have yet to decide if any other part of the dress will be embellished. I am leaning towards no, but time will tell.

This dress will take about twice the time of most other designs due to the fine details, but I love to work on a piece that feels really inspired and it becomes a labour of love. I'll check back in and bump up this post once I get a bit more work done on this fine little fellow.

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