Posted in colorwork, painting

Another Hydrangea Leaf

…..With apologies to readers who might be tiring of images of leaves.

I’m experiencing momentum on the oakleaf hydrangea project. While I intend to create 12 leaf blocks, I promise that I won’t blog about every single one of them. But I think today’s block is worth a few words and images. Here is the reference photo.

After making my sketch on the fabric, I masked the veins with resist and applied a pale emerald green wash. In this photo the piece has dried, and the leaf is covered in resist before undergoing the second wash.

I went really dark.

After the paint dried overnight, I pressed the background in an effort to set the color, then washed out the resist. Before I started painting in the details, I sampled several colors of paint over the pale emerald on waste fabric, because I had no idea what color would give the effect I wanted. I ended up applying yellow-orange, let it dry, and then painted in the major and minor veins.

This image has strayed pretty far from the reference photo! It is no longer a summer leaf, but a slightly battered early fall leaf, getting ready to change color before dropping to the ground. I love the chalkboard look of the background. Because it is black, I was able to use an Ultra fine point Sharpie to draw the leaf margin.

Posted in colorwork, hand embroidery, quilting

Oakleaf Hydrangea – The First Leaf

Yesterday and today I resumed work on the oakleaf hydrangea fabric paintings. Above you see the reference photo for the first leaf I am painting. I chose to do two experiments. Here are the two paintings after the first round of painting. The color wash – resist steps were complete and the paintings left to dry. In these photos, the water resist medium has not been washed out yet.

And here are the two paintings, washed, dried and with final details added, using Jacquard Textile paint inTurquoise and Goldenrod, so palette was quite limited.

It was a learning experience, trying to paint on dry fabric with thicker paints. I discovered how to add depth to the background by dry brushing. And I learned that my skill in painting delicate lines needs work. After the pieces dried, I pressed them and continued on to the stitching phase. I chose to work with the purple piece first, hand quilting with embroidery floss. Instead of backing with regular batting, I used cotton flannel, since it would be easier to push the needle through.

I carefully stitched over the major leaf veins, and then made two borders around the leaf margin. After finishing the leaf, I just improvised the background, using two shades of purple and two stitches – feather and chain.

So far, undecided about how to stitch down the edges. The choices are blind stitch or use a decorative blanket stitch. Does anyone have a recommendation?

Posted in painting

Painting Hydrangea Leaves

Beside the patio lives a beautiful oakleaf hydrangea. Every morning, I drink my coffee in its shadow and admire the sunlight shining through the leaves. I have been wanting to incorporate these wonderful leaves into my fiber art all summer long.

If you look carefully at the photo, you will notice that there is a variety of leaf shapes presented by this plant. There can be three, four or five lobes on a leaf. It seems that the baby leaves start out almost round and the lobes develop as the leaf matures. I have decided to do a mosaic of the leaf shapes with fabric paint and resist on cloth.

Here are two of the drawings I made of these shapes. I will be using the shape outlined in black ink for today’s paintings.

There are two experiments today. In one, I use the water based resist on the leaf shape, paint the background, then remove the resist and paint the leaf. In the second experiment, I paint the entire piece, add resist to the leaf shape and over-paint the background. Here is a photo of both experiments in the first stage. The lines are traced and a yellow tinted resist is applied to both swatches. The left swatch has the whole leaf covered in resist.

Experiment one. I used a violet background.

Wet painting
This photo show the fabric after the resist is washed away. The yellow leaf veins didn’t stick, but some of the yellow outline is still visible.
in this photo I applied resist all around the leaf shape before painting the leaf itself.
Paint on leaf still wet. Only a little green leaked out on the lower right side.

Experiment two. I started by applying yellow tinted resist to the veins and outline, then covered the entire fabric with yellow-green paint.

Paint is still wet.
Paint has dried. I applied additional resist over the leaf area before painting the background.
Finished leaf, still wet.

I am happy with today’s experiments. I like the dark velvety color of experiment two. But experiment one has potential. Both are now ready for additional paint effects.