CROSS STITCH DESIGNS
'HIPPY' Design Diary
This pencil sketch was the original concept drawing for the Hippy piece. The granny glasses, lava lamp, headband and long hair stuck around to the end but the moustache just had to go!!
Just click on the thumbnails below if you'd like a closer look and no, this guy isn't a mistake... at one point 'she' was a 'he'.
The basic idea was in place and it was time to start working out the details. I thought about how, every so often, someone walks by and leaves a cloud of Patchouli in their wake. More often than not, this person will be a middle-aged, sandal-wearing stranger who's delighted to spend a few minutes reminiscing about bean-bag chairs, Afros and the fragrances of our youth. Patchouli... you either love it or you hate it... but I just HAD to incorporate it in this piece.
In case you're wondering, the footprint in this pencil sketch was intended to represent the first man on the moon. As the design took on its' own personality though, it no longer seemed relevant to the piece.
With hair everywhere (beard, moustache and head) and all the other elements that I wanted to include, the design was going to lack focus. This coloured pencil-crayon sketch introduces the sex change that reduced the amount of hair involved and suggests a possible background treatment.
In order for the Hippy herself to command the spotlight, she had to somehow stand out from all the chaotic paraphenalia of Hippydom that was going to surround her. Since the piece would contain many vibrant colours all screaming for attention, the obvious course was to render her in black and white.
The design has now been hand-drawn into the computer. This print-out shows the rather straight-laced and uptight young woman from which the final Hippy grew. Her love beads will eventually be converted to a colourful rendering of the word 'love', her granny glasses will get smaller and the scary op-art spiral over her right eye will become a gentler whirl.
The word 'love' had to play a role in this piece but... how should it be presented and where should it go? When the love beads were tossed, the felt-tipped markers came out and a tie-dyed version of the lettering took their place.
I toyed with the idea of making the lava lamp a 'buried image' but it just didn't work out.
Felt-tipped markers show that the hair will get softer and indicate how the background will echo the shape of the Hippy's head. The flower that ends up on the left side of her head in the final version is checking out the right side in this computer print-out. The hand-printed letters that spell out the word 'patchouli' have migrated to the sweep of hair on the left side of the picture. An arrow indicates that the lava lamp has to nudge over a bit!
Although the design was coming along, it still felt more spartan than I'd hoped... a hand giving the peace sign would help. A preliminary pencil and ballpoint pen sketch helped determine the angles and configuration.
As this computer print-out shows, the 'O' in the word love has metamorphosed into a mood ring; the name 'Carnaby Street' (which fell by the wayside when the male Hippy became a female) has returned as a street sign and the hand giving the peace sign has been placed to the left of the picture.
The hand was rendered in shades of grey at this point but, since the only other grey toned-image in the piece was the Hippy's face, it produced a rival focus and was soon changed to flesh colours.
I really like this little felt-tipped marker guy and wanted to use him as a counter-balance to the hand giving the peace sign. In the end though, he was just one hippy too many and the Carnaby Street sign took his place... he became your tour guide instead.
A couple more elements were added, as you can see in the final design and our little tour is over.
Thanks for coming... I hope you enjoyed the trip.
IF YOU'D LIKE TO SEE HOW OTHER DESIGNS DEVELOPED, PLEASE VISIT... Design Storyboards.