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From sketchbook to artwork


Hello 😊 Mr sunshine has got his chapeau on here today, which always makes me feel like being creative. And I need some more tulip printed fabrics for my next pieces – so that’s my day sorted. I want some blues and greens to go with this lot

Tough job I know – but someone has to do it.

But before I get the paints and dyes out, I wanted to explain a little about the evolution of some of my pieces of artwork. Specifically, those where I take imagery more or less as it is from my sketchbook. Most of my sketchbook work is simple play and serves its purpose by filling my artists creative reservoir, as well as allowing me to mess around and engage my inner artist child. We are all fearlessly creative as children, and creating safe places for that child to exist, is crucial for my artistic practise. Oop s- I’m see a tangent beckoning here! – I’ll save all of that for another post!!

Here she is though … I know - what a looker!!

Back to my sketchbooks – the point is I don’t do them with the aim of producing finished work, but sometimes I get lucky and just love a particular page, and want to use it as it is. These two pages are good examples

With the first one, I decided to use this page of gorgeous overblown tulips (a collage made using gelli prints). I love the imagery and design layout. I have a longing for blue tulips. They don’t exist that I know of – but if I was God they definitely would. And as an artist we can be God and create exactly what we want. So I decided to just tweak the colour, using Corel; Paintshop. I also removed the side pattern, as I wanted an A3 sized image

So I’ve got some lovely blue tulips: now what? The background is very plain – well its just white!! I’d like something behind the image, so I used a product by Specialists Crafts: a transfer paper for light fabrics.

Lots of ways I could have altered this, but I was ready to stitch, so opted for very dense blue machine embroidery on the flowers, which I think has worked well - although my blue is much more of a turquoise than the original








The second piece was even easier - this one had plenty of background!! So I used Corel Paintshop, just to remove the tulip negative from the collage as it appeared in my sketchbook, and cropped to size


I then simply printed this image onto A3 layout paper (this goes through my printer pretty happily as is). I love stitching on this paper – its lightweight (45g) but strong. I think I prefer it to stitching on fabric now. I always bond it onto high quality wool/viscose felt – and then it stitches like a dream. I had lots of fun with adding stitched patterns into this one – it just felt the right thing to do with such a vibrant background

he possibilities with these easy ways of image transferring are huge, and really allow me to utilise sketches, artwork, sketchbooks and collages in all sorts of ways. I’d definitely recommend having a go




This ones coming up soon - and this time I'm keeping the original blue, and making it a bit bigger. I'll let you know how that goes!!

I’m off to find the paints and stencils now – talk again soon – Hilary xx


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I just love the blue tulips. It’s lovely to get a story to go with the pictures.


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Me too! wish they came in that colour xxx

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Dorothy Gibbs
Dorothy Gibbs
Feb 06, 2023

WOW THAT'S A USEFUL POST. THANK YOU MRS. 😍😍

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One aims to please!! xx

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JIll Hill
JIll Hill
Feb 06, 2023

Interesting Learning how you have developed the images from sketchbook designs and I admire the stitching


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Beautiful work.

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that's either my hubby (doubtful!) or my mum!! Im guessing the latter - thank you so much xxx

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