Here’s a fun project!
I’ve made a lot of custom portrait quilts, but my clients usually request a fairly realistic looking portrait. I made a self-portrait a few years ago in an abstract/pop art/Picasso/cubist style (as you can tell, I’m not really sure what style it is, but when I search with those words, I see portraits that look similar). When my Dad admired my self-portrait, I made one for him too. But this is the first time I’ve had a request from a client to make a portrait in this style.
My client says that every year for their anniversary she asks an artist to create an interpretation of their wedding photo. Their collection includes a zombie version and one done entirely in Lego! And now she’d like to add one of my abstract portraits.
This is the process I’m using. I edited the photo with the Picasa pencil sketch effect, then printed it to the full size of the portrait – 11 x 15 inches. I placed a sheet of tracing paper over the pencil sketch and drew the outlines and added design lines.
Then I traced the individual pattern pieces onto fusible web. I cut a piece of black fabric and started auditioning fabrics – the fun part, but also the most time consuming. It’s important to have a good range of values and colors, but it’s hard to tell until they are all together on the design wall which fabrics will work and which won’t.
I started with the bride. I decided it would be fun to use white fabrics for the bride’s veil and dress, and realistic dark colors for the groom’s hat and clothes. I probably auditioned twice as many fabrics as I used, and I changed my mind a few times about some of the fabrics, but I’m happy with the colors below. I made sure I had good value differences by converting the photo to black & white.
Then I started working on the groom. My first selection of colors looked too cool, so I switched a couple of fabrics for warmer colors. I love the star fabric I used for the hat. I think the gray shirt might be a bit too dark, but I love the effect of the stripes. I may have to go shopping for a slightly lighter gray stripe fabric.
At this point, none of the fabrics are fused to the background (which is why some of the black lines have inconsistent widths). The background area, which currently is black, will be a lighter color – but there’s no point in trying to select a background fabric until I’m sure of all the others. I’m going to leave it for now, and see what I think tomorrow when I look at it with fresh eyes – and also see what my client thinks.
Thanks for stopping by. Today, I’m linking up with these blogs – click on the links below, where you’ll find many creative and inspirational projects.