The Sewing Society Paints Fans

Today, the Jane Austen Sewing Society put aside the fabric and needles for a change, and broke out the paints and brushes.  (We still had tea and scones, of course!)  We bought some inexpensive paper fans on-line, and our fearless leader, Natalie, of Zip-Zip's-Vintage-Sewing found some beautiful images of late 18th century, early 19th century paper fans on the Collection Database page of the The-British-Museum site to fuel our imaginations.

Here's one etching that I really liked, of Galatea, in a shell being pulled through the water by two dolphins.  I studied this image and used it for my own fan.

I also liked the delicate, border design of this fan and mimicked it.

Here's Natalie, sketching out the details on her fan.

Laura and Polly are hard at work painting their fans.  Drawing and painting such tiny, intricate designs takes a lot more concentration than one might think.

Kathleen was the first one us to finish her fan....actually TWO fans...and she chose a more contemporary, bright approach for hers...but this doesn't surprise me, her being a professional artist and all! ;-)

I started by sketching in the outlines of what I wanted.  Then, I used a white, black and gray wash on the figure of Galatia to give the image a little bit more contrast.

Here's a closer look of Galatia and those cute little pug-nosed dolphins.  Painting on the folds of the fan was a bit of a challenge.  Visually, you almost had to paint things askew in order for them to look correct once the folds were put back in place.

Here's a detailed picture of the flower clusters and wheat swag designs I painted on my fan.  So sorry the lighting is dark in the photo.  By the time I finished my fan, the daylight was fading fast.

Finally, the finished product.  I used a combination of acrylic and water color paints to complete my fan.  I noticed, after I had already started to paint, that the center medallion is, well....not quite centered...but there was nothing that could be done at that point.  The back side of this fan is still white paper.  I am wondering now if Regency fans would have been decorated on both sides or not.  If I decide to paint the other side, then I will update you on that.

Everyone's fans were looking lovely when I left the Sewing Society this morning.  We weren't able to stay to see each other complete them because Natalie's kitchen is under renovation and the floor sanding workmen arrived unexpectedly toward the end of our meeting.  Not fun for poor Natalie.  I am eager to see the results of all of their artistic endeavors.  I do have one more paper fan that was ordered for me...I had so much fun painting this first one, that I am excited about the prospect of decorating another!


what a lovely blog.....I enjoyed it..
Nabila Grace said…
Your my hero! Absolutely AMAZING!!!! I wish I could only paint so well! :o) And sew ;oP Such an inspiration you are my dear! :o)

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