Tuesday, 4 September 2012


I love drawing faces, and the I-pad suits me down to the ground for the kind of faces I often like to draw.  

I've been drawing faces with patterns on for as long as I can remember, and I'm always happy when I'm drawing or painting in this way.

Just writing that reminded me of a textile workshop I attended in 1989 with Linda Straw, an absolutely marvellous and original textile designer and maker, to learn her very individual method of appliqué, using polyester silks - very difficult to work with.

The first thing we were told to do was to draw a simple design we wanted to appliqué - and of course the mind immediately goes blank - so I just drew a simple patterned face which would give me six colours to appliqué on the light green background.

Linda's technique (briefly, because it's very involved to do and describe) involves laying all the fabrics on the background in your chosen order, just pinning them at each corner.  

The machine stitching is done from the back, and the layers of colour trimmed away from the stitching on the front.  This was my first attempt, and I was not skilled enough to avoid the puckering around the outline of the head.

This is a section from one of Linda Straw's wall hangings that I was lucky enough to buy the following year.  Beautiful work, and humour in the design, with the mermaid ready to take to the land in her 'bovver boots' and biker's jacket.

So, back to my latest I-pad painting on the  'Brushes' app:

Having painted the face with white on black, I used Photoshop to reverse the colours to black on white.

And then I took the original painting into two other apps I have and played around until I was happy with a new look, like this 'vintage' version.

This last version really interested me.  The filter I used on either Snapseed or Photogene (can't remember which), changed the painting into a pencil-type version that I hadn't even started with.

The patterns are not pre-planned, I just doodle as the mood takes me, and when I have finished they often look rather like Maori face tattoos, even though I don't start out with that intention.

Just one more - a montage of my three favourite versions:

Doing this painting and playing around with it was such fun.  And to think, every time Dev wanted to buy me an I-pad I kept saying I didn't want one.  How wrong I was!



  1. I loved the cat doodles, but these are really special... they sort of look Maya to me... they have that sense of solidity and form... there are so many apps and programs to play with I think I would be in danger of spending all day doing nothing else...xx

  2. These are wonderful Jez, I like the way you have experimented with other apps as well to get a slightly different look. Amazing what can come out of a doodle!
    To answer your question you left on my blog about heat tranfer, I don't really know what they did as they took the collage out "into the back" but I did get a glimpse of something which resembled a big hotplate!

  3. I love love love these!! What a fabulous style. If you love doing art like this you should continue to do a series!! This is an awesome unique style... Obviously you did it in 1989 in fiber ( which is beautiful by they way) so it must be part of your true path!!

    I want an ipad so bad...this would be why. I love doing digital art, and in some ways I'm better at it than drawing. Good job and thanks for sharing. That mermaid seems to have a mullet, must have been done way back when!! Quite a fun piece I DO see the humor in it!! Hope to see more of those tribal style faces...they almost have a zentangle feel to them....love the color edits too!!

    Hugs Giggles


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