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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Thread Sketched Africa

I have always been drawn to giraffes.  Their grace and beauty is hard to resist.   Elephants, recognized for demonstrating human-like emotions, are beloved and revered worldwide.  The unique features of these animals made them perfect subjects for whimsical thread sketches.    I hope you enjoy!

Starting From Sketch

It took several attempts to get a design that appealed to my sense (or lack of) balance.  For changes too large to erase, I taped a new layer of paper over the area to be redrawn.
The picture (far right) shows a layer of water soluble stabilizer on top of the drawing.  
I have started to trace the lines.  

How much of the drawing is traced to the stabilizer is personal preference.  I want freedom to develop the picture as I go along, but free motion stitches are not easily removed.  For this picture, I was comfortable with these basic shapes.

New Canvas

These sketches were stitched on 10 oz. canvas painter's drop cloth.  I found it in my stash, left over from a painting project.   I love the texture and thought the weight would hold up to heavier stitching.  I was not disappointed, but should warn that although heavier in weight, it still stretches.  I applied Sulky Sticky+ self-adhesive, tear-away stabilizer to the fabric back.  That was enough for these thread sketches, but a more densely stitched project might need additional or heavier stabilizer.

After the basic animal shapes were stitched, I stitched the background.  Although I try to have vague plan for background design before stitching, most background elements are added as I go.    

Elements can be auditioned on stabilizer before stitching. 

After the background is complete, I add detail to primary elements.  

The stitched canvas was sewn to a piece of burlap and a sleeve added to the back for hanging.  The final canvas size is about 11 x 15.

Elephant Stitches

I used the same process for the elephants.  Layers of paper tell the tale of edits.

Squiggly lines of stitching were used to depict a wrinkled hide.

Finished thread sketch is about 11 x 15 inches.

New Ideas to try

Using the 10 oz. canvas made me think of perhaps embellishing a thread sketch with paint.  And, a friend's generosity has inspired me to try sketching the prints of an African artist.  Sew much thread, sew little time!  

Thank you for visiting.  I hope you will return.