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  • Writer's pictureKirsten Whiteman

Sheep From Sheep

My needle felt painting 32 x 26cm but once mounted and framed will be aprox A3 in size.

As an animal and wildlife artist, I am always searching for inspiration and reference photos. so when I saw the photograph by nature photographer Steve Owen, I immediately sort his permission to use it for my art, which Steve gladly gave.

Now I know this will make a great coloured pencil picture, and i am definitely going to draw it before the year is out, I can't wait.

But that box of wool that has been sitting under my art table for the last year, was calling me, and quite loudly too!

So after a good rummage I discovered I had enough wool for this very ambitious project.

But rather than jumping strait in the deep end, I did a little kitten first. Now my wool was from the beginning of 2019, when I dabbled in some needle felt sculpture, of which were not very successful.

The little kitten wasn't great, but I did learn a lot from it. Felted on a hoop I soon realised I needed a foam pad underneath, making the process a lot easier.

Backing fabric ordered , I couldn't wait to get started. Wool sorted foam pad in place I made a start. Now weather I'm drawing or in this case felting I always start on the eyes. If you get the eyes right, I think your half way there.

Eye successfully felted I moved onto the horn. Now being completely ignorant in these matters I naturally assumed it was a Ram, a boy sheep! No I was wrong, this is a lady sheep,

A white faced woodland sheep, both sexes have horns, but the males have bigger more curly ones.

Once I had finished the horn there was no stopping me. The face came with its own challenges, getting the blend of wool colours together for the face colour was not easy, and I did lay wools on top of each other, to get the correct face shade. Blending the separate areas together and smoothing out the needle holes .

Now the face is complete .How to tackle that fleece. The fleece has to be bigger and thicker stand out more in the painting. I don't mind admitting I wasn't sure on how I was going to achieve this look, or even if I could achieve this.

Well there was only one way to find out and that was just to get on with it. As it turned out it wasn't as scary as I had first thought.

I fell in love with this sheep as it started to come alive in front of me. I loved every minute of this wool painting, and have lots more planned for the future. I do hope you will join me on my journey through this medium.

I have some very exciting project planed for this year.

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