From Sketch to Collage...

From the Van Gogh Museum, archived letters

From the Van Gogh Museum, archived letters

I've always loved looking at great artist's sketches, like Vincent Van Gosh's letter to his brother Theo, who he often wrote and sent thumbnails and notes of what he was working on. I remember seeing a page from Di Vinci's sketchbook at the Getty, showing many attempts to get a hand just right that would later look effortless in its rendering in a great painting.

When I get an idea, I  tend to work out small sections of the collage in my sketch books, a process I learned at a Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators regional workshop in Denver, a very long time ago and I can't remember who taught it. 

chickens and horses for a possible barnyard picture book...

chickens and horses for a possible barnyard picture book...

Then after taking pics of the  parts, I "feed" everything into Photoshop, where I move things around, enlarge things, flip things around or add more pieces and elements. I might even use the Photoshop tools to add lines and geometeric shapes..... 

sketch_rushhour

Once happy with the sketched out idea, I make a pattern that I then use to make the fabric collage, usually staying pretty close to the worked out design, though I might add elements like the crows feeding on "somethin" along the road.

rushhour
first sketch sky fishing

Sometimes things change. Like when the art director at LadyBug magazine thought the dragon looked a little bit too fierce. But I've cut many a head out, often with scissors,  taping a new one in place, or with the Photoshop cut and paste...

roughsketchskyfishing

Then the fun of stitching begins...

skyfishing

My pattern, are lined drawn with a artist pen on see through tracing paper and at the size I will be collaging. At this point, most of the decisions are made... and it is a matter of laying down the fabric shapes, stitching them down and embellishing with needle, thread and possibly beads or wire...

sketch_saturday morning

and it is a matter of laying down the fabric shapes...

saturday morning

and stitching them down.

cuttingtreessketch
cuttingtree
sketch_coffeebreak

and embellishing with needle, thread and possibly beads or wire.

folgerscoffeebreak

 

 

 

Julia KellyComment