Here – to the left – are a couple of drawings I did of geckos last year. They are quite short and stocky with fat middles. Goannas have a much longer and tapering tail than geckos and blue-tongued lizards, although still with thick hefty bodies.
Now I’ve been looking at simplified and stylised shapes, along with some basic patterning to give me some ideas of how I could work the shapes in fabrics and threads. Directional satin stitch would make a good design as per my close up. I quite like that and it’s worth taking into the next stage.
Next I went back to a more realistic looking gecko and worked on some outlines. Although these are similar to what I did in the past they served to get my drawing hand moving and to improve on some aspects.
Photocopying and enlarging the small drawing gave me the idea of using this shape as a stencil and mixing it with some stitching perhaps. So I spent an agonising time with the craft knife trying to cut it as accurately as possible. To the left is the cut stencil with a sheet of coloured paper underneath so the shaping can be seen. The drawn line partially around the shape is where I hope to stitch. My intention is to make one side more solid and darker than the other so it gives a bit of dimension instead of a flat look.
I then went back to one of my more stylised shapes above, photocopied it several times and cut it out to have a look at repeat patterns that might work. I wanted to put them onto some kind of a background so they didn’t just float around. I had some green paper which I embossed and rubbed over gently with various metallic waxes to give a bit of definition. Below are my paper geckos blue-tacked to the embossed paper in various formations to get an idea of how a long fairly narrow design might look.
Overall I’m quite happy with a couple of the layouts but not thrilled with the actual gecko shape. I prefer the basic black outline shape I did above.
This idea is being developed as a design for a functional item and there are a couple of aspects I want to promote. Firstly I’m sticking to just one main image, repeated, as I’m interpreting totem to mean my own personal creature connection – the lizard. I would also like the final piece to be long and quite narrow to fit with my original thinking that totem means a long carved pole – which I know it doesn’t now but I still have a leaning towards this shape.
Whilst working on my geckos/lizards/goannas I played around with the idea of having a creature being stalked so I drew a couple of scarabs. Basically I copied them out of a design book I have and like the result but have already discarded them for this part of the course. However, who knows what will happen once I get started on the samples.
I am going to be exploring another avenue to be developed into a more conceptual or expressive piece whilst creating my textile lizard samples.