Saturday, August 6, 2011

Tenniel's Little Guys and Soft Sculpture

Sir John Tenniel's little guys have continued to inspire.  I've copied many of them over the years to try to learn how he thought and drew.  I read once that he didn't learn to draw the figure from life--he learned anatomy from casts and by copying from master works.

I made this soft sculpture years ago, when I was into making toys for my kids. This one's modeled after Father William's son in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland--I love that figure. Hand stitched by my clumsy fingers, this little guy took some time, and I knew not what I was doing.

I am needing to sculpt, and clay's just not colorful enough, so I'm going to foray back into some 3-D work with cloth.  This week I take a class on how to use a sewing machine, and then I'll be set to explore. There are artists out there (Joyce Stahl and Scott Smith are in the forefront) who do amazing works in this genre.

 Not knowing what I was doing, I used brush and ink on thin muslin, and filled it in with thin acrylics. But didn't give this one to my kids as the paint was probably not kid safe.

I've been sketching a crop of these angular, toothy goblins for a couple of months, and some of them will probably be my first models for some three dimensional fellows.

Yesterday I spent time just practicing the painting of eyeballs, since the eyes will be prominent.

Color and pattern are going to take precedence. Hard to tell that's what is in my mind from these sketches.


  1. since you are gonna learn to sew, you should check out this site:

    she does some cool sewing with non-traditional materials. i love the bird made from vintage negatives!

  2. Thanks--but you know the trouble I'm having with traditional materials, haha!


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