Sometime in the mid-90s, I was up way past my bed time and USA UP-All night with Rhonda Shear was on. If you don’t remember the show – behold the power of youtube! This particular evening they were screening Night of the Living Dead. I had already seen my fair share of 80’s slasher films and considered myself a bit of a horror know it all, but clearly I was just a dumb kid that had never seen something genuinely scary. This movie really changed my perspective. I can’t remember any movie ever scaring me as much as this one did. Such a simple film without massive blood and guts that had me holding my breath and afraid to put my feet on the floor. I’ve followed George A Romeo’s work ever since. I can’t say that all of his films have had the same impression, but I look forward to them none the less. I absolutely credit Night of the Living Dead (and a little Rhonda Shear) with my deep love of low budget character driven thriller/supernatural style films. After seeing some of @knowack’s (instagram) hoop art I knew I needed a George. Since I didn’t win an auction for her to make me one – I had to make my own!
I was completely experimenting with ideas and processes, so I don’t have a complete tutorial or pattern for you. What I do have is photos along the way and a short description of each step. If you make it to the end, I’ll tell you what I really love about this project and what I’d like to do differently if I decide to make another one of my heroes.
1. Find a source image
In this case, I used this one. I was specifically looking for something that was well suited in black and white and would work with line art (no teeth!). This one was so pensive and bad ass, it was a clear winner right from the get go!
2. Test it out as line art
I tried a sketch to see if would look like him when the textures weren’t present
3. Refine the line drawing with a printed image and tracing paper
This will serve as a “line map” though the rest of the project
4. Transfer line art and prepare paint
I’m using white PFD fabric, ProChemical and Dye transparent paint, and a plain old pencil.
5. Start Blocking in major shades of gray
6. Continue blocking in gray and refining some details
7. Allow paint to dry, Prepare for embroidery
After the paint drys, set according to manufacturer directions. Stabilize with Pellon 911F. Hoop up for embroidery and collect all sizes of black DMC floss and Perle cotton on hand.
8. Select a “base” thread size
I choose Perle 20 as my base size. I would go up and down depending the weight of the line I wanted. I used a simple back stitch to follow around the lines and edges
9. Continue on..
I used pencil like ideas for shading with a single strand of floss. I also used perle size 8 for the satin stitch over his glasses.
10. Just Keep Stitching (see – movies)
Here’s the finish one more time
Here is what I love about this project –
- The painting is fun!
- It adds a lot of dimension to the line art. I find it more interesting than the line art on its own
- I love the image. It is full of win before I even came near it
Here is what I learned –
- I stopped myself from painting in too much detail for fear that the lines wouldn’t have anywhere to rest. I wish I had back off the painting a bit more or really went for it with much deeper grays.
- I think a cross hatch may work better for the shading
- I don’t love the significant contrast between the coat and hand. Goes back to the deeper grays.
- There’s only one shot – once the larger hand needle goes through the stabilizer and paint, the hole is pretty wide and doesn’t close beautifully. It is a bit of a one shot deal. I should have planned my line weights better before starting. Like the hair – would have been much better with a lighter weight.
That’s it for this project! Can’t wait to hang him, probably somewhere near Lynda Carter! If you have something to say, I want to hear it! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on the social media links to your right.