If you read my last post you know where I get my images for drawing my animals. I start with a piece of graph paper that is the size of my block and copy the details like branches from the background so the block will have those on them. I then figure out where I want my animal and which way they will face. Using the research I did I then draw the animal onto the graph paper. If you read my Like Leaves on a Tree Plenty of Ideas post you saw that for many of my blocks I did the original sketching early on. Also if you look at the pictures on the post you will see an earlier version the the cougars head.
When the month rolls around for the animal to come to life I refine my drawing looking again to my inspiration and changing what I don't like. The cougar got lots of attempts at getting his face right, it had looked almost like a cartoon and he did not like that.
After the drawing is finalized I take a piece of medium weight interfacing to which I have applied a coat of acrylic matte medium. I place that over the drawing and copy the information onto the interfacing with permanent pens.
At this point I may also add some extra details to the interfacing with more permanent markers. (Let's hear it for so many colors of fine tip Sharpies!) Then it is time to start painting. I have been using mostly fluid acrylic paints for this piece but I also use some fabric paints as well. I usually work relatively quickly on the animals starting with lighter colors and going darker doing the shading and gradations while the paint is still wet. When I want to add crisp lines or finer details I will wait for the piece to dry then add them.
The background is painted onto a poplin weight fabric that has been prepared with a coat of matte medium. I often have areas of different colors on it that needs to dry between them so that I don't get bleeding. I will usually start with the background move to the interfacing and back so while I work on one the other can dry some. Once I have both the back ground and foreground images painted I let them dry and then I cut out the foreground image. I use matte medium as a glue to attach the two layers together.
I made one mistake on this piece in that before I added my cougar I should have added the fusible web leaves. It was more challenging to add them after he was already on the piece but I managed. Once the layers are all married together I cut out the block and fuse it to felt. That's it, I can usually do it all in a day depending on when I get it started.