Watercolor Pastel & Stitches

Waterlily Nude Dance by Minaz Jantz

'Waterlily Nude Dance' combines the elements of water, nudes, pastel, and thread for my latest multi-media painting. Stashed in two large plastic boxes are rolls of several years of nude drawings from life drawing groups that have been beckoning me to use in my latest series of compositions. 

Waterlily Nude Dance (Pastel & Flax Stitching) by Minaz Jantz

Waterlily Nude Dance (Pastel & Flax Stitching)

Close-up handstitching with Scottish flax thread.

Close-up handstitching with Scottish flax thread.

The word is out to friends and family to donate wool & threads to my stash to use as a medium in my artworks. They have kept a lookout at garage sales, and thrift stores and even donated their own personal stash of past-time embroidery threads. 

My friend Kaarina is originally from Finland and in her stash give-a-way was Scottish Flax thread that is durable and though it's a natural color and organic feel perfect for its textural stitching of the skirt wraps. The flax thread has a long historical connection to clothing and the politics of growing and manufacturing in Scotland. 

Read more here about the linen & flax history...

I put a thick towel under the paper and then poke holes with a thumbtack to guide the stitches and to save my fingers from stabbing the very sharp needle into the hot press watercolor paper. Sewing paper reminds me of the sewing cards back in the '50s that were given to children to learn coordination with hand stitching.

Close-up view of watercolour, pastel and gold foil.

Working with multi-media lends itself to discoveries that will be explored and pushed till it becomes a unique expression. The hot press Fabriano watercolor paper grabbed my watercolor from the brushes quickly so found it difficult to push and blend but found out that my new waterfilled brush slides the color in a wash across the smoothness of this paper.

Pastel and watercolor make for compatible mediums and think they complement each other very well. I skimmed over spots of watercolor washes with strokes of pastel and was pleased this paper's tooth holds the pastel particles firmly on the surface. 

Gold leafing was applied for the one curl of the nude's hair and did an outline with a gold pen to enhance the shimmer of the dancing nude figures.

Waterlily Nude Dance by Minaz Jantz
Dance like no one is watching...Minaz 

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