Saturday, 24 November 2012

Away with the Fairies

Hi All,
I mentioned at the end of my last post that I was working on something new and exciting with my pyrography iron, so here it is.

I don't know if I'm entering my third childhood (The second was when computer games first came out and I spent many hours playing Manic Miner on my Sinclair Spectrum) or what, but I've become intrigued by the type of illustrations that surround fairies. These include everything you find in a wood especially mushrooms and toadstools.

Anyway, I have a large library of art books and whilst browsing through one of these I came across some paintings of fairies plus the said mushrooms and toadstools etc. The style was more towards illustration than realism and I thought it would make a good subject for my pyrography iron.

So I gave the composition a bit of thought and came up with the idea of having a fary sitting on a fly agaric mushroom. Those are the red ones with the white spots, so I thought it would look nice if I painted it after the pyrography work was complete. I also included my version of a large ink cap mushroom to provide a bit of balance in the composition.

However, at this point the image I was sketching still looked a bit lifeless so I drew lots of heart shaped leaves and joined them up with curving tendrils that would be pleasant on the eye. I was still missing something at the bottom of the image, so I decided to cover the foreground with fallen leaves. This was better, but the composition still lacked a focus point, so I had the idea of giving the fairy a mushroom to hold like it was an umbrella. It isn't raining in the picture, the fairy is using it to protect herself from the falling leaves.

My intention is to use one of my old water colour picture frames to frame the work when it is complete, so once the sketch was finished I re-sized it on my computer to make it the right size. I then printed it out and transferred the image to the wood I was going to use. All I had to do then was follow the lines with my pyrography iron. I took my time and made sure that I didn't have the pyrography iron too hot. It is much quicker to use a very hot iron, but it means that you get overburn spots in places and these look unsightly. I find it is better to work at a lower temperature and keep my lines as crisp as possible.

Now, you may not be impressed with my fairy and mushrooms at this point, but worry not a jot because this image has a long way to go. This I'm calling stage one, stage two is well on the way and will be posted in the next couple of days.

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