This artwork was a very big deal for me … I had promised my friend Sally a portrait of her oldest horse Perry .. aka “Pez” .. over 13 years ago when she helped me take my mare to a stallion .. since then .. that part of my life has lived and died .. she also helped me to bury that part of my life when it was required and without judgement or pressure .. has always been there for me.
Then she recently turned 40 and it was time to get this portrait sorted … she needed spoiling.
As I created this out of wool I came to the realization that these amazing things sometimes take a long time … for a reason .. I could not draw the background … in the drawings I usually don’t do backgrounds (they are so time consuming and BORING) but I couldn’t see this piece without it so the universe made me WAIT .. until my abilities matched my ambition .. something that happens to me a lot !!
This needle felted background took about 2hours (very quick in my books) the whole piece was fast … only 4 solid days .. my 3D pieces take forever … don’t forget I’m still learning too !!
Anyway you all know I want to share my process with you and as I was constantly comparing this in my camera (the quickest way to expose mistakes) I am happy to say I have plenty of revealing pics .. so I hope I inspire you to have a go .. if you have any questions just ask.
First I made a greyscale copy of my photo in the size I want the portrait … this is my pattern.
I wanted very strong ears so I used core first (I don’t normally make them this thick but they are going to be touched a lot) needle colour onto them and them wet felted on a hot water bottle .. then needled again.
I also did some stitching down and through the foamcore he is mounted onto .. I don’t want those eyes or ears to move at all.
Then I did something completely RANDOM and sprayed him with some Westart sealer .. because I could not work out how to present him to her with those ears poking out .. so he is now quite solid and touchable .. maybe even a light vacuum wouldn’t hurt.
Finally … using my very own sparkle strands (grey hair) I sewed them into his muzzle for that finalé of effect !!! A teeny bit of super glue holding them in place. So there’s no escaping my DNA being in there after all the blood aswell … puts a new slant on throwing myself into my art 😂💦
I tried to put a signature on there and sought loads of valuable advice from my peers but ended up not signing it as I found it was too distracting .. I signed the drawing and the back of the piece. Yes it was that easy to pull off a piece that goes wrong 😝