Firstly I want to say fantastic that we have another place to discuss bears - there's never enough bear talk in my opinion!
I just wanted to ask how everyone shades on Wool Felt? I am a large lover of wool felt, and I just wanted to know how you all do it. I don't have an air brush, so I can't air brush 'em.
Hi Danni! Welcome! That's another cute little rolypoly one you've got as your Avatar. I really love your bear "styling" direction.
To answer your question.... I use oil paints. Put a dab on wax paper and load to a VERY stiff brush. Wipe that brush on a paper towel until it's dry. Then wipe again. And again. So much that you might think there's not any paint LEFT on that brush. Then you can use the brush to outline your paw.
I go over the outline with another stiff brush to soften. Sometimes, I use a lighter tone in a big band of color around the edge, and then a small brush in a darker tone for a precise outline of color. That's a nice effect too.
Oils were designed for use on canvas so they're a perfect fit for fabric work and although the individual tubes are not cheap (five dollars US or so), they last for an ETERNITY, used in this way.
I love the airbrush effect -- a lot! -- but don't have one, and since I get a very nice result that works well for me with my painting and shading technique, I'm sticking with that. Whatever works and gives you the result you're after is what makes sense to settle on.
Hi, Danni . . . welcome to the Intercal board . . . it's great to have you. I don't have an airbrush, either. I do my shading with a permanent pen/marker, as Judi suggested. In order to get rid of the sharp edge of color, I use a blender marker to blend the color into the fabric. You can use more than one color . . . I've used as many as 3 - 4 to achieve the color I'm after. Happy shading!
Ahh thanks guys!! I appreciate it !! I have markers, I've used them a few times, but now I get a much better result with pencils, but of course they won't work on wool felt (much to my disappointment ) I shall give them a go on the wool felt...
Thanks Judi for the reply... yes yes, it's on in exactly 1.5 hours.. shall talk tomorrow LOL Hopefully it won't be a " " for me LOL
Oh thankyou Shelli for the comments on my bear styling.. I've been a little down with that one not selling on eBay. The bear in my avatar was actually the first bear I have sold (one of my favs too so was hard to part with) I think I just have to keep pluggin' away and have confidence in my work...
I was actualy hoping I'd hear from you regarding the shaded paw pads, I saw your bear that you posted in the sale adds - Love his paws. Thanks for sharing your technique.
Thanks Suanne for the welcome - I've admired your bear kits from Beary Cheap! Nice to talk to you also (I get a little star struck sometimes LOL)
You know, I think it's a wonderful world where everyone (most) is so giving and helpful! Thanks again!
Danni, just wanted to show you examples of shading on wool felt. The brown is using a permanent pen/marker and the blue is using Prismacolor brand colored pencils. With the marker, I used a blender to fade out the edge. On the pencil, I just used a gradual lighter touch on the faded edge. Actually, I use the markers on felt ALL the time . . . with no evidence of a problem!! Thanks for your kind words, but don't think you need to be starstruck . . . I'm far, far from that!!!
Haven't used acrylics for that very reason; they clean up with water. Oils contain icky sticky resins that cling like mad to fibers and just literally won't EVER budge off once dry; you have to remove them with turpentine or paint over them to change the outcome of your brush strokes. I always feared that somehow acrylics -- which are my dad's paint of choice (he does landscapes and portraits) -- would rub or wash off my bears, and so it's that very same "requires turpentine cleanup," lasting permanence of oil paints that appeals to me.
Other than accidentally dropping heads into them -- !!! -- oils don't present any problems for me. They are slow to dry and quick to blend and very, very, very friendly to use with a drybrush technique to excellent effect. Or at least, I found them that way when I was searching for a good shading method. I haven't actually heard of anyone else using oils and I can't understand why. Am I missing something? Somebody tell me, quick!
I did just now return from Michael's where I grabbed some colored pencils. Am very excited to give those a try around the finer-detail areas where paints are just less easy to control due to application technique. I, for one, can't control a brush nearly as well as I can a pencil.
Thanks for the suggestions.
Hi Shelli, We had this discussion some time ago about oil compared to acrylic...
I don't use either " paint" but am using the oil pastels right now.I want to experiment with the pencils too...hmmm, I'm not sure but I think they make oil pencils too??? I'd have to go to a regular art store and see.
I know when acrylic paint DRYS you can't get it of with anything , it's there forever ....unless they have made a remover since I have painted with them. There is a cleaning solution for removing acrylic "set up "paint on you rbrushes....this may work on other items.
They do make a retarder so if you need to extend the drying time for blending you can...
If you dropped a head into a pile of acrylic as long as the paint is still wet all you have to do is rinse the head off.
They act the same way as oils when you are painting and you can thin the paint to a watercolor consistancy with either water or gel medium that is sold along the paints at the store. There is no odor at all with acrylics.
The only way to see first hand on how they really compare is to test them for your self.. I'd like to test all the various products we talk about for shading , some may be best for some applications and others may work best for other applications... Winney
Well that's ten thousand times more than I know about acrylics, Winney. Thanks for the details.
In my case, and unless/until I hear that using oils is actually BAD in some way, I'm going to stick with the old "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality when it comes to paint choice. That reflects less a resistance on my part to the use of acrylics themselves, and more a complete lack of both a) funding and b) time required to start from scratch and "re-invent the wheel" here, when what I'm already doing seems to be working just fine -- aside from the occasional oil-paint doused head, as I mentioned previously, that is.
I am very much open to ideas about how to improve shading in the fine-detail areas of my work; hence today's shopping errand to pick up colored pencils. I'm not even sure I got the right ones for the job. But you're right on target with that last piece of advice in particular -- we'll see how it goes!!!
More on this pencil thing later once I have some results to share.
I forgot to say..I was working on tinting a bear's embroidered ( reg. thread) yesterday with watered down acrylic and discovered DON"T use a stiff brush to apply it because it brings up the " fuzzies ". It's either from the floss or the felt under the floss messing things up on what would have been one of the best nose I have ever made...Agh !
I also figured that I may need to do 2 layers of embrodiery floss using dots of Elmers pen glue to stick down the first layer so it cannot " seperate " to alllow any ( felt ?) fuzzies to come up to the surface AND use very little glue on the second layer, mainly on the top and bottom EDGES only....worth a try.
If I use oil pastels on the nose to shade I know that the oil refuses to stick to the nose in places where there is any glue exposed....even if that area is real small it shows up like a sore thumb after it is shaded ...Agh again !
Try everything is my motto...altho that takes a bunch of time away from producing anything for sale it is time well spent to know what you can do with various materials...............Winney
Shelli.. I love sharing with you and the other artists here with what I have learned over the years. I painted pictures for years , using oils and acrylics., pastels . all kind of mixed media. You are right, stick with the oils, they do give the bears a marvelous look so why change? I haven't tried oils from the tube using the dry brush technique. must try that too.
Right now... I am really interested in the use of colored pencils for they would offer a lot of control and be especially useful on doing details. All these different materials are fun to try just to see what they do on bear fabric....Winney
I feel a new surge of beautiful bears in the future with all this shading talk going on! YEAH! Bring 'em on ladies!
Just for the record, acrylics are ideal for airbrushing because they layer beautifully, dry very quickly, and when they are heat set they become permanent (hhhmmmmm why is it then, that the paint is permanent on my brush when I don't wash it off , but i have to heat set it onto every thing else!):mad:
Judi, What is that bears name on your avater?......he keeps looking at me...probably because he knows I make chocolate chip and raisin oatmeal cookies all the time and he wants to play with Muffy, my doggie. Hey little one, you can come to grammy Rock's house any time you want !
I don't get that either Judi....I have ruined several good brushes because I didn't get allll the paint out, especially in the ferul, furel ...you know, where the brush hairs are crimped into,,,but I did find some acrylic paint remover and a bar of brush cleaning soap that saved some of my other brushes . I have a favorite old tee shirt I used to wipe paint on...it's pretty interesting , maybe I should frame it. LOL.............Winney
I just wanted to thank everyone for their tips on shading on Wool Felt. The new avatar has now got shaded paws. It really does make a difference, although since the wool felt is so dark, it's hard to see.
I'll insert an image of a bear that was born yesterday with Trapunto paws (new for me!) with shading using Primas. Thanks everyone - I appreciate your help!
Oh you guys have totaly inspired me. Sue Ann putting the sample on the site was so thoughtful.
My dad was an artist too-he kept a roof over over heads and food on the table and spoiled me rotton - BUT I can attest to the permance of acrylics.....he would wipe his hands on his bottom when he was out in the field doing on-site work, and it would soak through to his boxers.....He had the most colorful boxers! You could always tell what he was into by the colors in the laundry. It was really pretty funny. Drove my mom nuts but I just thought thats what dads did. Blues greens? Hes been to the beach....browns golds....hmmmm back in Mariposa again.
And once those colors dried mom and I could never get them out of his clothes.
I think I will spend the day trying all the techniques you ladies have described. It makes you excited to get up in the morning. Always something new.
Am I being naive? I worried alot about colorfastness in quilting, because quilts get washed. No one would wash an artist bear...Would they? Are we worried about spills.....should this really be a major concern, or am I being careless and you are all being smarter by being cautious.
When I dye any mohair I throw it in the washer's last rinse cycle to be sure it is rinsed out.
I even throw it in the dryer- get some pretty neat effects that way- especially with the ultra sparses.
You might try separating the embroidery floss. Run each separate thead through sewers beeswax. Put them together and then drag them under a warm iron. they wont separate. hmmmmmm the wax might impede color take up in the threads though. Ok. Forget that idea. When I do embroidery I always go down to the single thread get them all straight and ironed and then place the threads back together. You probably already know this, but always keep the threads going the same way- because if one thread is backwards to the other thread they can rub together and create a fuzzy look over time and use.....di that make any sense at all?
Dilu, LOVED the story about your dad . . . how neat!! I used to paint on t-shirts back in the '70s/'80s and used acrylics. I heat set them because they would be washed frequently, but it surely took a LOOOOONNNGGG time for the paint to fade or crack . . . which it did eventually. But now, the paint is better and even designated for fabrics, so I don't think you can go wrong with acrylics. I find that on a small area like a bear face or pads, I have so much more control with the marker or pencil. Anyway, I'm an advocate of whatever works best for YOU!!
Dilu..It sure would be nice if I could run the thread thru wax to straighten it but I don't think that would work either.Need to give this more thought....perhaps some other product may work ?
I never thought about ironing my floss..... I do untwist the floss as I go...it makes it look flatter and smoother, perhaps I should try shading the nose with something other than acrylic paints . maybe water color pencils would work better ..... use a delicate touch with the sides of the pencil .... maye try pre dampening the nose.... then to finish I'll heat set it with a hair dryer then apply the 50 / 50 water and white glue to harden the nose ...
Hey, everyone thank's for brainstorming with me , maybe we all found some new things to try! Yeahhhh....Winney
50/50 water and glue to harden your nose? Is this before or after you sew the nose? I'm confused, help...Is this how some folks get those noses that look so solid but you can tell they started out as thread?
I have this funny little Iron that I had for quilting and I keep it right by me, to iron the threads, embroidery as well as the needlepoint threads that I now call nose threads. It gives me more control in making the threads lie smoothly next to each other,
Unless, of course, you have a husband like mine, who comes in and says, "Hey great nose." And he is poking at the threads with his fingernail!