When viewing art, allow a few minutes just to observe. Careful observation allows time to use all the senses, become engaged, and notice things missed at first glance. Make a list of everything observed: objects, colors, shapes, patterns, as well as the feelings that the work conveys to you.
WORK OF ART
Eve Peri, Untitled Embroidery (Face of a Woman), circa 1940, Embroidery on linen, Gift of Mrs. Elizabeth Bullock, 2000.15.1
- What shapes do you see?
- How did this artist use line and color in this image?
- What does this image make you think of?
- Why might an artist limit their choice of materials?
Let’s make a line portrait:
Gather the following materials:
- Line materials–all different kinds of yarn, string, rope, cord or coated wire (like old computer cables). You can decide if you want to use only one type of material, like our artist above who used embroidery thread for example, or perhaps you would like to use different materials for different parts of your portrait.
- A surface to create the work on: fabric or heavy paper or cardboard. This can be recycled materials, like the side of a cereal box, shipping box or upholstery fabric, etc.
- A method to attach your line to the surface. This could be an adhesive like hot glue, glue stick, or large eyed needle and yarn to stitch wire or cord to your surface.
Look for photos or digital images of people you’d like to do a portrait of. Your subject could even be YOU–a self portrait. Things to consider: Is your composition of one person or a few people? Is your portrait a front view, or profile (side view) or perhaps a three quarter view?
Once you have your images for inspiration, begin by shaping your lines of wire, string, cord, etc., to find the essential outline shapes of your subject(s). Then work to find the smaller features. Perhaps starting with the outlined shape of the head and neck, before working to shape your lines for the features. Find the details that make your portrait resemble your subject–maybe there are special earrings, eye glasses, hair style, headband or other features that make your subject unique.
Depending on your surface–paper, board or fabric–you can stitch, glue, or perhaps use a combination of methods to adhere your lines to your base. You can glue or stitch as you go. Or, you can wait and glue everything down once you are happy with the arrangement.
Share your creations with us by uploading your finished work here:
For more information on this artwork visit this page on the Farnsworth Art Museum website:
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View more works by Eve Peri in the Farnsworth’s collection.