Close-ups (emotion)

PFOPmadWM

One of the fun and challenging parts about illustrating for children is showing emotion and action, especially in fiber art, which tends to be static. To counter-act the stiff blandness, I like to bring forth emotion by exaggerating the poses and facial expressions of my characters. But there’s a fine line between evoking believable feeling and creating a grotesque appearance, much like the difference between acting well and over acting. I’ve seen some doll faces that are downright scary and bizarre. My goal is to portray emotion with a subtle firmness, without being too disturbing.

Nursery Rhymes are full of emotional and physical activity, so I had lots of opportunities to experiment with poses and facial expressions in my book, Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes. Here are a selection of close-ups from the book.

Do you want to see the original embroidered illustrations from the book? There are still several locations scheduled for the Pocketful of Posies Traveling Exhibit, which has been touring the country since 2010.

PFOPpg54WM

PFOPmuffetWM

jumpingjoanwM

PFOPmadfaceWM

10 thoughts on “Close-ups (emotion)

  1. thank you for always sharing your work with us. when you post the detail shots like this it makes me all the more aware of all the little things i don’t see when looking at the work as a whole.

  2. some wonderful expressions you have caught here, popped over to the link and so glad I did. Would love top see the exhibition, maybe it will be brought over to the UK one day and I will have togo.

  3. Your little people are such a joy! It truly is difficult to make faces say what you wish to say. You do it well,Salley!

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