I have been very busy in the studio working on some new designs for the Friends of Teddy online show at http://www.teddiesworldwide.com/ . The focus of this show is animals other than Teddy Bears. For some artists who specialize in other soft sculpture animals, this show is a chance to highlight their work. For artists lke me, who specialize in Teddy Bears, this show has been a chance to branch out and stretch our creative muscles! I have had a blast!
I thought right away that I would like to try a kitten and I looked at some illustrations from one of my favorite children's book for inspiration. Of course the best inspiration sits right in front of me in my studio always!
I made the head pattern and thought it was an instant success, but I had to draft two bodies and three hind leg patterns before I got that part right!
Another challenge (which I didn't anticipate) was in coloring the kitten. I use an airbrush to accent my bears and it has always worked great. But I found that since I was applying so much color, the alpaca seemed to resist the color. It seemed to rub off as the parts were handled. Since I usually just used the airbrush color around the eyes and mouth (areas not handled) on my bears, this issue had not come up before.
I could typically heat the fur with a hair dfryer to set the color, but since this wasn't working, I put the unfortunate kitten in the oven!!! Poor Kitty!
That was an improvement, but the stripes were still coming off. I finally thought of art markers. These Prismacolor fine are pens are an alcohol based permenant ink! It works and they come in many colors. The parts were colored in many layers and the tabby striping done last. It takes a lot of time, but I am so pleased with the results.
And here is my show preview piece finally finished! The airbrushed prototype kitten lurks in the background. Since he is "flawed" --the poor dear, I have decided to keep him for myself and just handle him with care, but I have made another gray tabby using the permenant fine art pens for the show.
The Friends of Teddy online show and sale starts tomorrow at 4:00pm Easter Standard Time, but you can visit the preview right now at http://www.teddiesworldwide.com/ ! Hope to see you at the show!