This morning I painted the fabric for sea, land across the bay and sky. I will accentuate the grey tone using a pale grey thread for the thread painting. The sky has come out a hazy, cloudy day. The sea is also greyish. The foreground is likely too wide, will have to try masking an inch or two to see how that looks. It will get thread painted with golden, brown threads in short vertical stitching to simulate the grass at the top of the bank.
Still using my paper cutouts of the three men.
Next step is to set a fusible stabilizer to the four background pieces and fuse them in turn on the muslin. Once that is done, I will work at the thread painting – it will take a couple of days, I’m sure.
To paint the fabric I used a mixture of a small amount of medium blue, pale yellow and strong red acrylic paint to create a muddy grey, added white to lighten it, then a bit of a darker blue to bring the mixture to a bluer grey. I wet the turquoise/white fabric for the sea then spread the paint on it using horizontal strokes with a wide sponge brush. Next I wet the solid white fabric and applied a very diluted wash of the same paint I used for the sea. The coast across the bay is a thin strip of grey fabric with a subtle print (crackle) – I used a bit of the same wash as the sea to end up with subtle hint of blue to help it blend with the sea and sky.
I laid the wet pieces of fabric on a layer of newsprint topped with paper towel to get rid of the excess paint, then hung them to dry using pants hangers in my laundry room. Turned on the fan I keep in that room and the painted fabric was dried within a short while. I press it and then laid each piece on the muslin. I’ve played with proportions trying to keep the horizon off the center line and have moved the men around so the central figure will also be slightly off the vertical midline. In my original photo the men are standing equidistant but I’m going to position the two figures on the right a bit closer together with the one on the left just a bit further to the left – that will affect the vertical positioning and draw the eye away from the center line.
So on to the next step – fusing the background fabrics to the muslin. Actually, I will first have to fuse the muslin to a stiff, heavyish stabilizer just so I have some heft to work with when I go to thread paint.
Now to the thread painting.