This week marked 11 years since Pooch and I first met. Last year's present was the EPP Death Star. This year I wanted to see if I could top that. Pooch has always said his likeness should be captured and given to the Nation so I decided on a portrait. Here is how it came out:
I had been thinking about portraits in fabric since seeing this quilt in Yokohama last year.
photos are here. I knew I wouldn't be producing anything like the little girl but I thought I could try the technique out and make it my own. I started with a favourite photo of mine of Pooch in Tokyo, eagerly awaiting the arrival of a bowl of Ramen.
1. I opened the photo in an editing program (just the one installed on my windows laptop), cropped it to just the face and changed it from colour to black and white. I also played around with the light levels to make it clearer where the lightest and darkest places of the image were.
2. Using my portable lightbox (i.e. the window on a bright day) I traced the outline of the face and features and where, through the top sheet of paper, it appeared that the tones of grey changed. Laying the original and the tracing side-by-side I then added a few extra lines here and there to complete it. I photocopied this to give me the sheet to use for the next part.
4. I had my freezer paper and now it was time to cut out what would become a huge jigsaw with some very tiny pieces. I cut out all the pieces and put them in small plastic bags - like the ones you use for jewellery findings - so that they couldn't blow away. All the S1's went in one bag, S2's in another etc. It was only at this point that I chose the fabric! Greens for skin, blue for hair, brown for glasses and a perfect equation print for the background. Looking at the plastic bags I judged how much fabric I needed for each of H1, H2 etc. In most cases it was only a postcard or less of each. I cut some bondaweb to the same size as the fabric and ironed that to the wrong side. Then I ironed the cut out pieces to the right side. I proceeded to cut out the pieces and assemble them on the backing fabric, ironing as I went. Once it was complete I added some plain white fabric for the eyes.
Has anyone else made a fabric portrait? I'd love to see it if you have so please leave me a link in the comments. Thanks!