In her new book, Doodles Unleashed: Mixed-Media Techniques for Doodling, Mark-Making & Lettering, Traci Bautista has a very fun exercise called “Finding the Doodle.” The basic idea is to start with a painted background and then find formations, patterns or imagery hidden there, and pull them out with a pen by doodling. This is akin to seeing images in clouds. I thought this would be a fun mixed media exercise to try on fabric because I had wanted to make a document carrier inspired by a project in Sharing Stitches: One-of-a-Kind Projects to Sew and Swap by Chrissie Grace, called List Lover’s Notepad Cover (designed by Yetta Miller). So . . . I got to work. This is the second project I have wanted to make from this book. You can see the first one here.
Traci recommended painting with just your fingers, so that’s what I did. I painted on a piece of cotton duck that I had dyed ahead of time with Jacquard’s iDye. Painting with just my fingers is always fun and I forget it’s an option sometimes!
After the paint was dry, I went to town doodling on the fabric with a black pen. I was surprised at how many things I saw in the painted background, once I loosened up and bit and quit looking too hard.
Then I was ready to create my folder. In Chrissie’s book, the project calls for strips of fabric that are equal in length, but I strayed from that a bit because I wanted the doodled strips to stand out. In addition to the painted/doodled fabric, I used two other dyed colors of canvas. (The yellow is actually the same dye I will be using for my wedding dress—stay tuned for that post!)
If you like sewing and painting and doodling, you could easily make something like this, too! Check out Doodles Unleashed for plenty of other ways to incorporate doodling into your art and Sharing Stitches for all kinds of fun fabric projects based on the concept of collaborating with others. It’s a lot of fun to combine inspiration from more than one book (and remember . . .you don’t need to stick to all the instructions; you’re free to give things your own spin!)
MORE RESOURCES FOR MIXED MEDIA ARTISTS