This week I experimented with colored pencils and tools for blending. I had an extra design drawn up, for the bee skep by Kathy Schmitz. I thought it would be good to use on the crackle fabric, as my first try. The fabric says, 100% cotton, but it has a silky, stretchy feel to it.
I use freezer paper to trace the design and a blue washable marker. The paper keeps the fabric from stretching as I draw on the design. I also keep it on, while I color it in with the pencils. I use Faber Castell Gold Faber pencils. They come in a variety of colors and you can buy them individually at Hobby Lobby or Michaels. The best time to buy is when you have a 20% coupon, then you get that off, of each one.
I usually dull the pencil a bit, by rubbing it on paper, it leaves less marks if it is dull. You also want to color with a light hand, in circles, or you will see streaks, which I do have on some of my pieces. On this piece, I used a blending stump to blend the colors into the fabric and I do like how it works. It is made of compressed paper, so it is hard enough to rub the color and blend if you want some shading. The other benefits are, you can clean it with an emory board, and they are cheaper.
I do like how this one came out, the colors blended into the fabric nicely, though I may have used a bit of solvent at the end. The downside of this fabric is, I had a hard time getting the blue marker off, I had to rewet it quite a few times, to get it to disappear, which faded some color, so I had to recolor some areas.
On the second test, I made some little bunnies for the boys. I modified the bunny pattern from Kathy Schmitz to make it work for a boy and added a little pail with their initials on it.
I did get lazy and colored in lines, in some areas, which you can see on the pants. The bunny on the left was done with a solvent blender. It is double sided with a brush and a hard point. I used the brush, which releases a solvent as you go over the colors. It breaks down the pigments in the color and makes it more like water color. The downside is, it can bleed if you use too much, but it is not hard to control, once you get used to it. It is also harder to add more color, once you use it.
The bunny on the right was done with the stump blender. I think I had more control shading, with the stump. As you can see, I was more concerned with making them, than the quality of my work.
I decided the bunnies were too light, so darkened them up and added things I forgot, then brushed fabric medium, over the colors. I wanted to make sure they could be cleaned. Unfortunately, I didn't realize I had brushed my hand onto the bottle of black stain and it go on the pants.
I really don't like the fabric medium, it gives it a stiffer appearance. The other test, the blue marker came off with a dab from a wet rag, so working on muslin, is better with markers, than on other fabrics. But, the crackle has a nicer look with the pencils, not sure if it is because I did a nicer job on coloring or because of the fabric differences, so I will have to try some more on the muslin and take my time.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!