DIY w/ Howl - Paris Edition [Custom SELF-PORTRAIT DENIM VEST]
Updated: Jul 29, 2018
Ciao Humans and happy pride month!
There couldn't be a more fitting time to do this diy project. As time goes by I continue to learn so much about myself as a person and I try to continue to push myself to grow and never get to comfortable. And I encourage you all to do the same. Growth is essential.
I'm happy to have a space to share my fun experiences with you all. My inspiration for this jacket started months ago. I bought a new pair of hexagon glasses and I fell in love them. They sort of become my thing, kind of like my signature. I thought it would be so cool to create a self portrait of myself wearing these new glasses. And here we are. Here's how to create your very own diy self portrait clothing item!
-Pencil and Paper (for sketching)
-Clear Overlay Paper
-Small Paint Brushes
I'm a person who believes in reusing fashion and refreshing items in my closet. Once I'm tired of something but I'm not ready to get rid of it I try to find something new to do with it whether its cutting off the sleeves, painting on it, bleaching it. In this case and it totally optional I grabbed a vest from my closet that I was starting not to like any more and I felt like I probably wouldn't wear again. I actually wore it in a prior #ootd post and I cut the collar of of the vest (I bought it without sleeves). Instantly I liked it better. And I knew that once I added the self portrait I would love it.
Step One: Begin sketching out your self portrait. I found a guide image to help give myself a base to start with.
In the image to the left I found a face shape online that I believe resembles my own. From there I begin to alter the image by cutting away the nose and hair that are all to petite to be my own. I draw in lips, mouth and hair that are more fitting. And I sketch my signature glasses at top the eyes of the image.
In the image below I begin to sketch the outline of the face and I redrew the ears to shape that are more to my liking.
Step Two: Here you will begin making stencils. Once you are satisfied with your self portrait drawing, cut it out using an Xacto knife on clear overlay paper. Remember this will be used as a outline and you will need to make sure all pieces connect or your stencil will not work properly. I place my drawing under the clear overlay paper cutting out the different features until I achieve the design I want, which will be used when I silkscreen the black outline on the final design.
As you can see in the image to the right I used my sketches to create this stencil design. Here you can see what the final outline of the self portrait will look like like.
Keep in mind that when you will eventually add color to your design, each color will be a different layer of the silkscreen process. I decided to only use 4 colors for my overall design. However, only 3 colors will be used during my silkscreen process.
Before you can begin silk screening you will need to create a couple more stencils using your clear overlay paper. Luckily, we have created the most difficult stencil which is Black = Overall outline, hair, eyes, eyebrows, now we need to create Brown = flesh-tone/skin. Lastly, Red = lips.
To create the stencil you will need to trace your first stencil, this time only recreating the face shape. When you are finished you will have a block image, that you will use to create your stencil. Reference the drawing below and the video clip that follows.
The video clip below will help you understand the silkscreen process that I used to create this diy. Materials for this project can be purchased at your local arts and crafts store such as Blick, Micheal's and Artmart.
Off camera I first mixed brown and white fabric silkscreen ink together until I achieve my desired skin color. Next I laid down my surface board to ensure I am working on a flat surface. From the video you will see that I working on a slightly uneven wood panel surface and need to board to create a level work surface. You may not need a surface board depending on what type of work space you have.
Step Three: Begin silk screening. I make sure my vest is laid as flat as possible so my printing will come out smoothly. I first lay down my face shape stencil on the center of my vest, then I place the silkscreen on top of it. I grab my brown silk screening ink ( premixed) and I dab a good amount along the upper surface of the silkscreen. Begin to squeegee the ink from top to bottom, pulling the ink towards your body a few times to make sure the ink is distributed thoroughly covering your stencil and the silkscreen. I like to squeegee a couple swipes right to left also. You can see this step in the video clip below.
This is how this step came out.
Once the ink has dried, you can move on to the next portion of silk screening. Just like the beginning of step three you'll repeat the beginning steps. However, this time you will be silk screening the lips. So repeat the silk screening steps using the lips stencil and red ink (I mixed red, brown and a little white together.
Next, comes the outline stencil that we first created to bring to portrait all together. You'll follow the same steps this time using black ink and the outline stencil that features the hair, eyes, glasses, nose, etc. Now you can really see it all come together. My favorite part of silk screening when its all down and all the abstractness finally makes sense.
I decided that it need a little something else, so I decided to added a gold halo like many of the art history portraits I've seen. Instead of silk screening this step I simply traced a round surface around the portrait and used gold silk screening ink, painting the halo accordingly.
Here is how the self portrait vest came out! I'm really satisfied with it and I love all the interesting details that I put into it even down to the little wrinkle on the forehead.
Next post will be a Paris Outfit of the day post of me styling this vest, don't miss it! Until next time.
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