Friday, February 8, 2008

Neocolor II Watersoluble Wax Pastels Tutorial--Leaf

Leaf, Art Quilt, (7" x 7")
Fannie Narte

This tutorial documents my steps in creating this "Leaf" art quilt using Neocolor II Watersoluble Wax Pastels.


7" x 7" square of Pellon Peltex 72,
Water Soluble Marker by Clover

Fan brush

I used the following Neocolor II wax pastels: Background: (Top left diagonal half) Naples Yellow, Cinnamon, Light Ochre; (Bottom right diagonal half) Light Ochre, Bronze, Russet. Leaf: Moss Green, Olive, Green Ochre, Gold, Olive Brown (leaf veins).

Additional Supplies:

8" x 8" square white muslin, water, parchment paper, 9" x 9" square batting, black thread

Step 1

I traced a 7" x 7" square onto the 8" x 8" square of white muslin using a water soluble marker.

Next, I applied the pastels onto the muslin. I applied the pastels freely and without much thought. It looks raw, doesn't it? At this stage, this painting doesn't look like it will turn into anything pretty.

In more intricate pieces like a rose, I will sketch a line drawing onto the white muslin using a water soluble marker, then apply the pastels. However, because this art quilt is a simple leaf design, I applied the pastels directly to the muslin without the use of a line drawing.

Step 2
Dip the fan brush into a container of water and apply the water directly to the piece using circular brush strokes. This is when the magic happens. It's exciting to see the piece come to life and see the colors blend. In this image, water was applied to the bottom third of the piece.

The following image shows what the piece looks like after the entire piece has been completely blended with water. Doesn't it look like an abstract piece of art without form?

Next, allow the piece to dry. Sometimes I use a hair dryer to speed up the process. However, the color mixing is interrupted prematurely by using the dryer. If the piece is allowed to dry naturally, the colors will continue to blend throughout the drying process as you can see in the following image. The colors on the wet piece always looks darker. Compare the above image to the following image.

This image is what the piece looks like after drying naturally.

Step 3

After the piece has completely dried, place a piece of parchment paper over the image and iron it to heat set the image.

Next, layer the piece of batting over the 7" x 7" square of Pellon Peltex 72, and place the painted fabric on top of the batting. Drop the feed dogs and stitch the outline of the leaf with black thread.

Step 4

In this image, I added a wavy line of stitching using black thread over the first stitching shown in Step 3.

Step 5

I basted the three layers of the quilt, stitching from the back side, closely following two edges of the Pellon Peltex creating an L-shape line. Note: In this step, I turned the piece upside down before stitching--the Pellon Peltex faces up, and the painting is faced down. This image shows what the stitching looks like from the right side.
Step 6

This image shows the quilt after the excess fabric and batting was cut.

Step 7

Free-motion quilting using black thread is added. One of my favorite quilting designs is this wood-like stitching.
More free-motion stitching is added to the background.

Step 8

The quilt is trimmed to 7" x 7" and the edges are finished.

This is how I create most of my art quilts using Neocolors. My technique is not scientific. The results are best if you don't fuss too much about being "exact." This medium is forgiving because you can add color to the painting when its wet "and" when it's dry.

I hope this tutorial makes sense. If not, leave a comment on this post or send me an e-mail and let me know.

Click HERE for all of my Neocolor II posts, which includes artwork and techniques.

Note: My Neocolor II posts consist of more than one page. When accessing these posts through this link, you'll need to click on "Older Posts" located after the last post on the current page to go to the following page. You can access this same information by clicking on "Neocolor II" under the "Labels" tab in the sidebar of my blog, which is located on the right side.

Now it's your turn. Time for you to play. Have fun!


morningDove said...

What a great tutorial on your technique. It's very understandable and I think I will try it.

Fannie said...

Thanks for the feedback, Dove. One never knows if something is understandable until receiving feedback from others with "different" minds. ;-D

My advice: Throw away structure, and just play! Tap into your imagination and enjoy the process.

Jacq said...

WOW! This is a wonderful tutorial. You have gone to a lot of work to share your technique and it is very clear. I think maybe you should be teaching a class at Joggles. Maybe a book.

Fannie said...

Thanks, Jacq. Creating this tutorial was a stretch for me because it "forced" me to be structured--which is totally opposite of the way I work. I usually work spontaneously. I just pick up colors and apply them to the fabric. Creating was interrupted by my documentation, and it was a challenging process. However, I'm glad I did it because it documents my work, which is one of the reasons for this art journal. Sometimes one can get busy creating and forget about the documentation. I hope you find this tutorial useful.

I can hear some of you out there saying, "It's about time." I might not say much, but I can imagine . . . ;-D

Imagine, Create, Inspire!

Cindy said...

Love the tutorial, and I agree you went to a lot of trouble to share your process.

Now I have to try a Neo quilt ala Fannie.

Thanks so much! BTW, the rich colors are beautiful, and I marvel at the wood grain stitching. I'm going to have to study that a bit more.

Fannie said...

Hi, Cindy. Glad you find the tutorial useful. Have fun playing. I'll be watching.

Stephanie Pettengell said...

Beautiful Fannie, and an excellent tutorial. Thanks,

Fannie said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Stephanie! You're welcome!

Sherry said...

Fannie, Great tutorial. I've been reading blog and your techniques using the neocolors. I actually used your technique with my new tin of colors. Thanks so much for sharing. Sherry

Fannie said...

Welcome, Sherry! Thanks for stopping by. Congrats on the collage acceptance. It is tender and beautiful.

Regina Gansen Rooks said...

I have done some work with these on fabric, but had not thought of the fan brush for wetting/blending.
Thanks for posting this great tut.
I love the finished piece - Leaves are a frequent subject of mine.

Fannie said...

I'm glad this tutorial offered some inspiration for you. Leaves are interesting, like trees. I may do a series... Thanks for looking.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this interesting tutorial. I am sure that it is going to help me a lot. I was wondering. Is it essential to use muslin? Would I be able to use regular cotton or linen as well?

Have a good day,

Fannie said...

Welcome, Monique. Thanks for stopping by.

No, it is not essential to use muslin. Muslin is my favorite fabric to the moment. ;-D

Yes, you can use Neocolor II on cotton or linen. I've used it on flannel fabric too.

Note: I use Neocolor II to create art quilts--not for laundering. So I don't know what the washability factor would be for cottons or linens.

Hope this answers your question.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for explaining. It helped a lot :)


freebird said...

Beautiful. Sounds like a great technique for me to use with my grandkids. I'll have to add yet another item to my wishlist at DickBlick!

freebird said...

I have a question. Did you use the crayons or the pastels? You say pastels but the picture on the squidoo lense shows crayons.

Fannie said...

Hi, Freebird. Thanks for your question. Neocolor II is watersoluble wax "pastels," but it looks like "crayons." Some people refer to these as "crayons." I used to refer to them as crayons too, but I thought that calling it what the folks at Caran D'Ache call it--wax pastels--would be less confusing.

I hope this answers your question.

RoseMary said...

Which set did you start out with.
They are alot of money.
But thank you for doing the step by step technique, I can't wait to try it.

Anonymous said...

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Sorry for offtopic

Cindy said...

Hi Fannie: Just found your website and love it! I have an old set of Pentel oil pastels that are suppose to blend and give a shaded effect when brushed with water. I tried them on a piece of fabric but the colours do not blend at all - looks the same as when applied. Do you know what I'm doing wrong, maybe the Neocolor II are better for this? Love your beautiful work!! Cindy