Coloring with Pencils…and thread

Last week I told you about my summer adventure. I told you how I took a class in Prismacolor pencils and learned some new techniques which I’m going to apply to my artquilts. I knew all along that Frank Pierce at Eye Candy Gallery could teach me a few things, but I learned much more than I expected.

Besides learning how to use the pencils, I also learned how to add color to a piece of art. I learned that a splash of red or violet, in unexpected places, adds great interest. Also I learned that using dark blue is a better choice than using black to outline objects (since the class, I’ve been regularly running out of navy thread). Initially I was afraid to use my white colored pencils. It just seemed too harsh, but lately I’ve found myself adding white outlines to my applique work. Color theory and design, that’s what I learned.

So one of the last pieces I created in Frank’s class this summer was pencil sketch of oil cans. I photographed the oil cans a few years ago at the Denton Thresher’s Reunion (see the post here). I was fascinated by these little cans sitting in a “coke-cola” box at a flea market vendor. I was especially smitten by the blue one (and I kick myself for not buying it). Since that day, I started a small collection of these oil cans. I love the way they k-thunk, k-thunk, when you push their little bottoms. It reminds me of my dad and the cans he had in his garage/workshop.

After the sketch was complete, I scanned it and sent it off to Spoonflower where they printed it on fabric for me. I had them print a couple copies so I could work with different layouts and techniques.

My first attempt (“Oil Cans #1 –above), I heavily thread sketched each can adding more color to the pencil drawing using machine stitching. My second attempt (“Oil Cans #2 – left), I only thread sketched the blue can and did some trapunto style quilting around the others. I have one more panel to use and I’m working up some ideas. I’m happy to report that “Oil Cans #2” sold this past weekend at the local quilt show. I’ll tell you more about that soon. In the mean time, I have to get back to my colored pencils and thread.