Lapwings Felt Picture
I’ve recently made a new felt picture of lapwings so I thought I’d show you how I went about it.
As you’ll know, if you’ve read my other blogs here, I live on the East Kent coast in the UK and am particularly fond of the local birds. I’ve seen some beautiful flocks of lapwings including at a small nature reserve just along the coast at Oare. I’ve not attempted lapwings before though they are really beautiful birds, so I thought I should have a go.
I’ve only seen lapwings in quite large flocks – I’ve never seen one on its own – so I thought I should have at least 2 birds in the picture. I did a quick sketch to help me decide on the size and stance of the birds
I started with the background. The birds at Oare were on the wet, grassy edges of a lake, very near the sea. Here’s the background laid out & ready to start felting.
I spent a while thinking about how to represent the lapwings’ lovely iridescent feathers and decided on lots of prefelt.
I had some blended greenish wool that was perfect for the main feathers though I had no idea where it came from or what it was. As I made some prefelt I tested out the shrinkage – mostly just to be sure it would felt rather than getting a specific shrinkage.
Then I set about prefelt for all the other lovely colours. The dark green sections are scraps of recycled silk from my favourite source: a charity shop scarf. The others are mixtures of different merino wool colours. I was particularly pleased with the dark section on the right which was a bottom layer of blue and top layer of charcoal grey. It was just the effect I was hoping for. With hindsight I should have used silk for the light green & pink / purple too as that would have given me more shine.
Here’s the prefelt cut up & arranged in a bird shape.
And here are the 2 birds once fully felted but still wet
And here I am deciding how to position the birds on their background.
I needle felted the birds into the background then added eyes, other face details, legs (using recycled tapestry wool) & head plumes. If you look closely you can see I also fiddled a little with the background: needling in extra strands of grass to soften the edges of the water.
The lapwings went straight into an exhibition with 4 other big pictures plus some smaller pieces at my local gallery: the wonderful Horsebridge Community Arts Centre in Whitstable. Here’s my display (not a great photo, sorry).
And I’ll finish with a quick shot of a beautiful painting I bought at that exhibition. I’ve been looking for something to hang over my bed for ages and I thought this was perfect.
Painted by my friend, the artist Josephine Harvatt. The title “When you wake up it’s a new morning” is particularly apt for over the bed. I love it. If you want to see more of Josephine’s beautiful work, here’s an Instagram link.
14 thoughts on “Lapwings Felt Picture”
The lapwings are gorgeous Lindsay – the poses are just right and both birds look so delicate. You’ve got the plumage colouring spot on too. Beautiful picture 🙂
Josephine’s artwork is perfect for over the bed!
Thank you for your lovely comments.
Love how you’ve employed the prefelts to convey the subtle iridescence of their plumage, Lindsay. Combined with the attention to detail for their heads & legs you’ve achieved real character in your lapwings & I can just feel them cautiously watching something off frame.
Your pieces have become quite masterful over the years & I hope that they soon find new homes.
The above-bed painting….perfectly apt in name & just love the design.
Many thanks, Antje. I’m glad you like the birds. I have enough of the prefelt left to make some more lapwings at some point but will definitely include more nuno felted silk fabric as it adds a lovely sheen in a way I can’t do with wool. And yes, I’m really pleased with Josephine’s wonderful painting.
Lovely Lapwings Lindsay (oops sorry about the unintended alliteration). I am so glad that they are surviving in Kent, I’ve seen very few for years now, but I do love the birds and their pee-whit call. I used to see lots of them when I was a child and I actually found a nest, but was very careful to move away again as quickly as possible.
I think you’ve captured these two perfectly and they look good in the display at the exhibition. Lots of good things for people to buy.
Man thanks, Ann. Yes, they really are very pretty, delicate-looking birds. I’ve only seen them a few times but in a fairly large flock. How exciting to have found a nest!
I really enjoyed “seeing” your brain at work as you created your piece, Lindsay! I’m not an expert on wet felting and seeing all the lovely sources of prefelt and how you use them is fascinating to me 🙂
And, Josephine’s painting is beautiful. I myself wake up with a gigantic painting of a zebra staring at me on my right hand side, a small sheep and a drawing of my face above me, and finally (depending on the days) a purring cat demanding to be let into the duvet…
Thanks, Leonor. I’m glad you enjoyed the journey through thinking & the wet felting steps. Sounds like you wake up with a perfect menagerie.
Love your lapwings! They look like really neat birds.
Thank you, Carlene. Yes, they’re really lovely birds to watch with their fluttering plumed heads.
Another wonderful bird picture Lindsay. I had to look up lapwings. We don’t have them in the US. Yours are very recognizable as lapwings from the photos that I saw. Your collection of work hanging together is great and I would recognize your style immediately. Wish I could see it in person. The painting you chose is gorgeous and would be such a pleasure to wake up to.
Thanks very much, Ruth. Maybe one day we will get to see each other’s work in person. Wouldn’t that be fun!
Lovely lapwings, Lindsay, they seem ready to move, you captured their soul so well. I also loved all the added details to the bakground and the lapwings, they really made the scene perfect and so natural.
Thank you so much, kikistextileart. I’m delighted you like the lapwings.