Art World / Needle Felting

Suddenly Dinosaurs

Wes and I have been playing The Isle for quite a while now. Ever since the Evrima branch was put out, we’ve had multiple family game nights and just hours upon hours of game time put in. Dinosaurs were thoroughly ingrained into our lives, even moreso than before.

We’ve always had that love of dinosaurs, both as kids and adults, even spending a part of our honeymoon at the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller. Our only souvenir from the Honeymoon (aside from a mug from the Nanton air museum) was this gal here; a Smilodon skull cast.

We’ve dubbed her Smiley, but back to the post. So after playing The Isle so much, and loving every moment we spent in the Royal Tyrrell – it suddenly donned on me that I’ve never really drawn dinosaurs, much less had a character of one.

I’ve had Sabre inspired characters of course, but never a legit dino. So it was easily done that I fix that. A friend of mine, Sibbi really inspired me with their fantastic paleo art, and it was very quickly that I landed on a need for a dinosaur character.

Choosing the species was easy, in The Isle; while Wes preferred playing as a raptor when in a group, I was always torn between playing as a Pterodactyl for the soaring adventure and a Tenontosaurus for the speed / power combination. Can’t draw Ptero’s as it turns out – so Tenno it was!

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The sketches for her came far easily than I anticipated!

I had always loved that giant tail and being able to draw it easier than my brain thought I would was so refreshing! So the love of my new little Tenno, Leffy grew.

Especially when I posted her to my Twitter and VERY suddenly there was a lot more love for her than my usual posts. It may have been just the more general tagging, but there’s something about the love a piece brings that will always get my little inner critter brain running.

Leffy was born!

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Naturally I had to finish my favourite of the sketches, and her colours were solidified.

Leffy was a hit! And even more importantly, she made my brain happy to draw. It’s a rare thing when those two line up! I even threw her together with a friends little prehistoric critter – I really enjoyed the posing of this one!

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All of this came at a time where I was also getting into some other forms of art – one of which coming from a rather spectacular gift my mom; a sewing machine.

I had always wanted to try and make plushies, something that likely spurred my needle felting. So once I had the sewing machine set up I dragged Wes along with me to Michaels and got me some felt! Since I had never really done it before it only made sense to use a fabric I was used to using right? That way, if there were any mistakes or little details I wanted to add – I could just stab them in!

It turned out that I had a lot of fixing to do, the felt I chose as a base didn’t work, so I had to switch to some white felt I had. Which wasn’t the right colour, so I had to felt on some correct coloured wool which in turn made it rather stiff. From there I was able to get her colours and patterns correct, but wasn’t quite on the right path with the sewing part. It took a lot of extra work, much more than if I had just followed a pattern like a normal person starting out – BUT I ended up really happy with the out come 🙂

A little Leffy was born! She’s less plush and more stuffed needle felt than what I was planning for, but I’m VERY happy with it. She’s super cute, stands up on her own, and really brought a lot of smiles. I was a little off on her colours, but at the end of the day for a first try it ended up really great! And much quicker than what it would have taken me to solid felt the whole thing.

This really opened up my mind to the other possibilities of mixing fibre medias and gets me excited for the potential projects! Especially the posing capabilities of a stuffy vs a solid felt, the time saved, the size changes – so many new options to explore!

Author

akat.tix@gmail.com

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