I know I said I would post pictures of my last heron piece, but I don’t like the feet on one of them. The scale is wrong. Pictures will have to wait until I fix them. In the meantime, I am starting a new piece of a preening red egret.
I am concentrating on wading birds: herons, cranes and egrets for the whole of 2010. Here’s the next one which is much smaller than the last one!
I decide on the basic positioning of the bird from a photo. I used the picture as a reference to make sure I have proportions, general outline, and orientation of body parts correct, but pretty much wing it from there. I usually don’t even make the same kind of bird. I then freehand draw feather directions, eye placement, etc. Here’s my general drawing for this piece. I think the head is a bit bulbous and the beak is too wide, but I can change the dimensions as I add the feathers:
(very) rough drawing for egret piece
Since I fuse my compositions, rather than piece, I make my general drawing of the bird directly on to batting. From here I cut and iron on all of the hundreds of individual feathers directly on the batting.
Here are the basic colors of the bird. I hand dyed gradations of the colors and will further enhance colors with paintsticks or fabric paint later in the process. Reddish egrets are a steel blue and rust color with a grey-black beak. If I follow a triadic color scheme, my background will be a yellow-green or green or red. None of those sound appealing to me. I’ll audition fabrics when the bird is done.
hand dyed fabrics for egret piece
More to come as I progress the piece.