Sunday, March 24, 2013

Needle Felting: Sea Lion

I've been seeing needle felted items around the internet for a while now, and had wanted to try it, but it doesn't really seem to have reached our shores yet. However, my mother very kindly got me some needles from the Fox Collection, and dug out some wool roving that she bought many moons ago to spin, but never got round to using. Since the roving was bought with yarn in mind, not needle felting, it's all in the most gorgeous shades of blue, green, pink and purple – but not really the best if you want to felt little animals. =P 

So here is my very first attempt – a blue sea lion or fur seal. Not a true seal, because it's got little ears. 

It took about 7 hours, mainly while watching tv over three evenings so it probably didn't take quite as long as that, as I didn't want to accidentally stab myself by felting while looking at what was going on on the tv. I didn't really know what I was doing, but it was great fun, and very cathartic, too. 

Here's what I had after two hours:

And after about 4.5:

I chose to do a sea lion because I had just filled two sketchbook pages with Galapagos Sea Lions, after watching David Attenborough's Galapagos on Sunday night, and they seemed to have a nice simple shape to get started with (and having recently sketched them, I was fairly familiar with it).

(all those sketches are based on images in a random Google search)

Here are some more views:

I'm not entirely happy with the face from the front, but I'm not beating myself up over it, as I'd never so much as held a felting needle before Thursday and so I figure I'm allowed to start off a bit wonky. =P 

I added the hat and extra ball to brighten it up a bit, the blue is rather overpowering. The eyes are black beads – mostly because I like the look of shiny beads as eyes, and partly because I don't have any black roving.

What do you think? 

Dyed merino tops felted with a coarse and a fine needle. I don't know what size they are, my packet doesn't say. ~7 hours. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Design: Book Covers

Here's a batch of book covers I completed recently. One of the authors found my work (specifically my Christmas silhouette) through deviantArt, and asked me to design something that could be used across all their books. They had a solid idea of what they wanted right from the start, and this is what I came up with:

I should point out that these are in no way G-Rated books, being described to me as 'steampunk gay erotic love stories with zombies' – not at all my cup of tea, but I had fun doing the covers, with all the bones and entrails and stuff I don't usually draw, and haven't actually attempted since my uni days. 

Photoshop CS6 with a Wacom Intuos 3.
The fonts are Book Antiqua and Edwardian Script, chosen so the authors could easily coordinate their advertising and the like without the hassle of esoteric fonts. The blood spatters are adapted from a number of paint textures at

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Watercolour: The Shadow Waltz

I've had such a lot of work on lately that I haven't had time (or the energy) to do anything else, but last night I sent off a completed project, and as my day hadn't been all that fabulous, I decided that I could allow myself a little time to splash around with my watercolours. 

So, Ruby Keeler, from a screenshot of the beautiful Busby-Berkeley-choreographed "Shadow Waltz" from Gold-diggers of 1933. That's one of my favourite 30s musicals, and one of my favourite Berkeley numbers. 

 I used five colours only for this: my favourite Paynes Grey, Neutral Tint, Permanent Mauve, Rose Dore and Permanent Carmine. 
I also used masking fluid, although it and I never get on particularly well....

Winsor & Newton watercolours and masking fluid on mysterious un-branded watercolour paper. I used a straw to shove the paint around a bit and a tiny bit of white acrylic for a couple of touch-ups. 
1.5 hours. 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Activity: Chinese New Year Paper Lanterns

A little late (I've been busy) but here's a quick art activity I threw together as a back-up plan for my friend, who's currently doing relief teaching in primary schools. 

So here we have paper lanterns with snakes – obviously open to lots more decoration, this example was put together in under 10 minutes! – and designed to be easy enough for six year olds with the minimum of messy art supplies to stress out a relief teacher. The theme is (I hope obviously) the Chinese Year of the Snake:

Here's a step-by-step animated gif:

Print out the lantern template (provided at the bottom of the post) onto coloured paper. Alternatively you could measure the sections yourself. (I'm using A4 paper, and I cut a 2.5cm strip off the long side for use as a handle, folded the remaining paper in half lengthwise, and cut strips over the fold, at 1.5cm intervals, stopping 2.5cm from the edge.)
At this point the lantern can be decorated with paints or textas. 
Fold the paper in half along the dotted line. 

Cut along the lines, starting at the fold.

When you unfold the paper, you can roll it up and glue it to form a lantern.

Add the handle at the top.

Draw a long wiggly snake on some coloured paper, and decorate it. 

Cut out your snake.

Add some dots of glue at intervals along the back of the snake. It's important not to put glue everywhere, as when the snake is attached to the lantern, you want to glue it down with the glued bits closer together than they really are, so the spaces in-between loop up and look more lively.

Attach the snake to the lantern, and make more snakes to attach.

Lantern Template
Open in New Tab for full-size


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...