Hands up those who are now hearing Handel's Messiah? No? Well, here you are then.
But I digress. Yes, already. There hasn't been nearly enough digression in recent blog posts. The point is that I like sheep and so, it turns out, do lots of other people. I suppose it would be the same whichever animal I thought of but it does seem that over the years I've been representing animals, I've chosen ones which then turn out to be really popular.
I started out earlier this week intending to begin some new chicken canvasses and found myself drawing sheep, as you do. I've never tackled them before. Some animals I represent in a very stylised way, like the fish and lizards, and some more realistically. It turns out that sheep are to be in the realistic category.
It's also been a while since I blogged about the progress of any one piece of work, so I thought I'd take the opportunity, following on from my last post, to show a few stages in the sheep pictures. I don't have the stages broken up as much as I did with the lizard vase (and the colours of the photos are not entirely accurate) but you can still see something of how a piece develops.
First, following on from my last post, here's the most recent page in my sketchbook. These sketches were made from photographs of sheep (which I didn't take, in this case.)
Next, I painted the basic colour areas of the picture onto silk habutai. After the paint was fixed and the outliner removed, the silk was mounted onto muslin (for some strength) and then the detail of the sheep was worked in machine embroidery.
Once I'd got the essential subject of the picture worked, I added some background. The silk panel was then ready to be mounted onto silk dupion. Here it is pinned on, ready for hand stitching.
After that, I added some more machine embroidery was added and now the piece is ready to be mounted on a frame and backed and prepared so it can be hung.
This is as far as you get now with the photos, though. You'll have to wait to see the completely finished piece until Another Beastly Art Exhibition in November.