Mackerel on a Plate
(wet felted background with needle felted fish and details)
I enjoyed the 'learn how to use acrylic paints' workshop (previous post) and with a lot of help (and cake) during the day, I achieved a picture that I was pretty pleased with, of two fish on a plate...
Acrylic painting of fish
... that Annie and I decided would look good in felt, so I had a think about how I could best make it. Paint and wool are very different mediums and each has its merits and its difficulties.
I wanted the fish to be very clear so I used the same technique as when I made the Sea Dragon.
Sea Dragon - felted picture
To make the mackerel picture, I wet felted the background using merino wool. In the middle of the top layer of fibres I formed a bright yellow oval plate shape then surrounded it with sea colours placed down in a swirly fashion. The plate edges were defined with a boucle-type yarn that felts in easily.
The fish shapes were cut from specially made pieces of white, aqua and turquoise felt, then needle felted onto the background. I needled some blue and pistachio mohair yarn between the joins.
The dark blue markings, eyes, fine lines and colourings were added with needle felting.
The acrylic painting was very quick to do - only a couple of hours - whereas I estimate that the felted version took ten working hours to complete. But it wasn't a slog as I really loved the felting processes and seeing it all come together during the needle felting was so satisfying.
The photo at the top of the post shows how the mackerel would look in a frame, like its painted cousin, and here's the uncropped picture with its organic edge. It measures 50 x 33cm.
Painting is fun, but I'm no Leonardo da Vinci. It's felted art for me!