Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Presents - Don't read this if we normally exchange gifts!

Using the freezer paper stencil method, I got this great idea to do bags using Aleks' drawing of a squid & whale battle. Our friend Heather loves Architeuthis, so somehow I thought that Aleks should draw a picture of the famous squid & whale battles for her. Then I thought we could make all sorts of other things with it.

We began by googling, as we begin most of our research. We found some great images online, but none of the old woodcut prints I'd seen before. Aleks tried copying some of the google images, which resulted in this drawing eventually used for the bag prints. Then we searched out books about giant squid to put on hold at the library. We surrounded ourselves. Children's books, adult books, DVDs, and even Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters on CD, which I've been listening to in the car, all made it to our house and into our media rotation. Ultimately, a month's worth of planning and thinking and dreaming went into all our efforts. These bags were the last to be completed. We contemplated a silk-screening method, but didn't get the supplies on time and then realized that we had a greater choice of color with the freezer paper method.
Aleks also drew several other versions, practicing before committing this pencil sketch to high quality paper. I then did the watercolor (which, despite my ability to paint a bit in general, I'd never done before) and we matted & framed it for Heather & Steve's holiday gift (which they've already received, so no risk of outing ourselves here). I love this piece so much, I wish I'd kept it!
All in all, our art this year is a great success. I wonder what we'll do next year......