Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Zoe and her Red Ryder

Zoe got a big girl bike for her second birthday but she still loves to ride on this one. My parents bought this for Sloan when she was a little over a year old. I know eventually Aris will ride on the Red Ryder. These bikes are built to last.

Here she is, Ella Elephant

Quite a few people have been asking to see how I actually make my illustrations. So I tried to take a photo of every step of the artistic process. Here is the final product and the steps are below.

I almost always start with a sketch.

I start with the main part of the body, and add an under paper that coordinates with the top paper. I was going to make Ella pink, you know "pink elephant's" but I just couldn't get it to look right so I went back to the scrapbook store and got some more papers in the grey family. They worked perfectly. I try to always use papers with a pattern or texture. It just adds that extra element to give each illustration a little more dimension.

Then I cut out the remaining body parts.

I make sure everything is in proportion, and that it all fits well together. If not I start over again. This part can sometimes take two or more times before I get it right.

I add the mouth and the cheek to make sure the face looks the way I want it to. To me this is a very important step. If the face isn't looking the way I want it to, it is early in the process and I can make the changes needed before I have to backtrack too much.

I take a nail and with a little tap from the hammer, I make the holes for the embroidery thread.

I take the thread and needle and sew the eyes.

This is what it looks like once I am done with punching all the holes.

I start to add the pink thread for the knees and the trunk.

I held this up to the light so you could see the holes a little better. I have two different embroidery thread. The first kind I bought as a packet, all different colors, not bad in quality, medium grade. The other is the kind you buy individually and it is much nicer and a little more in price. I like using both to achieve different textures. One gives a little more rough appearance than the other that has a silkier look and feel.

Time to make the blanket for Ella. I used a patterned paper for the base, ribbon that I stick on with double sided tape to add dimension on the blanket.

I added tassels that I made by bunching up the embroidery thread and tying it off, and stitching it on to the blanket.

I kind of make a mess.

This is what the back looks like, with all the stitching.

I added the "e" for Ella, the little bows made from the same ribbon for the tail and ears. I also added the toe nails in the same light pink as her cheeks to tie everything together. I dropped her off for the auction this morning along with the other donations that people had given me. I will be starting on the whale tonight. I will be posting some photos of the girls later tonight.


I finished "Ella Elephant" and will post some pictures tomorrow. I also have some great pictures of the girls that I will post too. I am so tired at the moment and I am going to bed. Hopefully everyone will let me sleep tonight. If not I am fearful of turning into zombie mommie tomorrow. Goodnight for now.