Sunday, January 30, 2011

Building the Provincetown Wool Painting

Here is a new series of instructions upon the completion of the the Provincetown wool painting.  Please refer to previous wool painting tutorials in this blog for explanations about the studio set-up, pattern transfer instruction, supplies, etc.  I am using the Babylock Embellisher to needle felt this painting, which is 24 x 36 inches in size.

In this first photo, you can see the pattern transferred with children's washable markers onto a piece of white flannel.  You can also see the original photo and rough drawing I did before I started the actual wool painting to work out the details in a smaller, disposable draft. In the background are oil paint charts which help me choose my colors or match previous colors, when I've forgotten which ones I used.


I began to lay down the first layers of color; the underlayers that would show through subsequent layers when the painting is finished.  These colors set the stage for the light and dark areas, and create a back lighting effect if I choose bright colors to begin with. 


After I laid down the first layers of roving I placed a sheet of large-hole (or reguler - not tulle) netting over the entire surface  and pinned it in place.  Then I used a device called the Felt-O-Matic to tack large areas of wool into place until I can get it under the needles of the machine.  It has 100 needles that, when pressed down all over the surface, effectively tack the layer in place saving time and effort.  Otherwise, I would be using Clover needel felting tools and it would take forever to cover the surface of large areas.  You can see a tutorial of the Felt-O-Matic at the following link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EO_E6eTKWxY
I was careful to remove the pins as I came to them when using the Felt-O-Matic so as not to break any needles.



Here is a close-up photos of what it lookes like.  You can order them in different sizes at the following website:  http://felt-o-matic.blogspot.com/



After using the Felt-O-Matic, I slid the entire piece, netting and all, under the needles of the Embellisher and felted away until I had covered the entire surface.  Some of the netting gets holes in it but it keeps the fibers in place on the flannel background, doesn't get felted in, and can be peeled off and reused again and again until it is too full of holes.  Here is the painting with the entire first layer of color felted in place with the Babylock Embellisher.


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