Sunday, September 6, 2009

Carolina Wren with background color

When I was preparing for the leather class I tought back in July in Rapid City, I carved the project for the class a couple extra times, trying different techniques to see what might work best. On one of the attempts, I used a regular hair blade instead of the multi blade knife I normally use to create hair and feathers. My thinking was that it was a tool that could be purchased at Tandy if the students didn't already have one. I later decided to make up simple multi blade knives for the students to use. Having the project carved different ways was still a good way to show examples of different techniques that can be used to get different textures onto leather. When I carved this piece, it turned out ok, but it was just a little different than what I normally do these days. This bird's feather looked very well groomed as opposed to the more ruffled look I get with the multi blade knife. I also used another Tandy product, super shene, as a sealer on the project. My normal sealer is X-1 which is no longer available and I wanted to use something in the class that people could easily obtain. It left the backgound area in the picture natural colored with a bit of a gloss. I didn't care for this look much so I decided to color the background in with acrylic paint. In my first attempt at doing this, I tried using shades of blues gradually getting darker and ending up with purples and black. I have done this before and liked the effect, but didn't like it at all on this picture. So I hit the "undo" button. That normally doesn't work well on leather, but the super shene had sealed the leather, and by wetting the acrylic paint, I could carefully scrub most of it off. Then after talking with a friend, I decided to try again, this time using shades of yellow, orange, red and brown. It took awhile to figure out how to get the different shades to blend into each other, but when it was finsihed, I was happy with the look. I wasn't sure if the background color was too overpowering for the bird, but I found a frame and matt that I think really ties it all together.

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