Wednesday, February 20, 2013
I've been awhile since a post; my apologies. I just finished up Thumbelina and The Swallow. Thumbelina is my tiniest doll (life-size!) and the bird was a big, folding, complicated thing because I wanted him to fly but also collapse into sickness per the story. Well.. first sick, and then flying. Everyone has been telling me that Thumbelina's expression is a bit morose, but if you'd just spent a winter being engaged to a mole in a pitch black dirt tunnel you might feel a bit post-traumatic stress disorder-ish.
My daughter Alex was my inspiration for Thumbelina's face, and this was actually from a photograph I took of her where she was upset that she had to wait for a horse-drawn carriage to take her on a 'haunted hayride'. So apparently post-traumatic shock syndrome and impatience mixed with annoyance look roughly the same.
One of my favorite quotes from Alex was something she said when she was five years old - "All the birds you're going to meet in this world are my friends. They're my bird friends."
This was the original graphite sketch of Alex. Later scanned in and colored digitally.
So step one in making a paper bird with collapsible wings is to make a prototype, and then on about your sixth prototype you get one that functions AND looks ok. From this point I traced around each piece and then actually drew in the feathers and bird stuff.