Thursday, January 13, 2011

Building a Felted Painting Part 3

This is a continuation of the Felted Painting tutorial.  Below is a photo of the Bottle Study with the underlayer of the background felted down.  Every color felted down so far has an "underpainting"  layer of fiber which may or may not be anything like the final color that goes on top.  The reason for this is that all the layers of wool show through and the more color laid on top of color the more interesting and complex the design.  It is essential that each subsequent layer be laid down as thin as possible, like a glaze or wash on a painted surface.   The underpainting of this background was chosen as a "medium/warm" color to keep the background behind the bottles from being too cold and dark.

This next photo shows the last and final layer of the background.  It was more dramatic than I expected but I still have to wet felt and crop the final piece to its finished size.

Wet felting makes all the layers and colors come to the surface and blend together.  The white  bottle needs to be a little whiter but that may happen in the wet felting.  If not I can add another thin "wash" of white Pollworth fibers and needle felt them in place.  Wet felting also gets rid of the needle holes and unifies the surface fibers so they don't pull off or pill over time.

Here is what a cropped version might look like:

After wet felting I plan on trying a trapunto method to make the bottles stand out from the background.  I will either mount the piece on an artists 24" x 36" frame or put a border on and call it an Art Quilt.  If it is an Art Quilt, I plan on submitting it to a quilt show to introduce the methods to other quilters.  There is so much more that can be done with this method artistically.  I've already started another one - which will be the topic of my next tutorial. 

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