"See, I gather the wool into the general shape, then I poke it with these special, barbed needles,
and the fibers tangle together. The more I poke, the more I can shape and sculpt the wool..."
Below is the step-by-step process with short descriptions of how I made the wool painting from week 3 of 52 Weeks of Felt Paintings. Enjoy!
1. Blank needle felted canvas on my felting foam with my 6-needle tool.
2. The four shades of blue I used for the sky.
3. The entire background was covered in one blue.
4. Other blues laid out on the canvas to determine how I wanted the gradient.
5. All the blues are felted down.
6. Playing with composition with shades of pink and purple for the balloons.
7. Started with the the balloons in the back....
8. And worked my way toward the front of the bunch.
9. All balloons are felted in place.
10. Placing lighter colored felt for balloon highlights.
11. Balloon highlights are felted in.
12. I also added some white into the highlights. Determining string placement.
13. "Stretching" the wool into long pieces for the strings.
14. All the strings are in place.
15. Adding flesh colored wool for the hand and arm holding the balloons.
16. Adding small balloon details.
17. Small detail work on the hand.
18. The edges of the painting are still pretty messy...
19. ...so I cleaned them up with my felting needles.
20. Edges smoothed. (Side shot to show dimension.)
I didn't time myself while making this. It's not terribly detailed, so I guess it took a total of 1.5 hours (give or take a bit) not including all the picture taking. More detailed pieces take up to 3 or 4 hours. It truly is a lot of layering, and it's easier to build up the felt rather than take it away.
Does anything about this process surprise you?