Business. A Painted Bag

The project described here was created in 2009. So long ago! Now it’s even strange to remember the “big problem” I had during work. But let me start at the beginning.

That summer I bought a netbook. It was tiny, with a 10-inch screen. I was so happy that completely forgot to buy an important accessory – a bag. So I had to make it myself.

I had denim fabric (I was going to make jeans). The lining is from a suit that is not finished still. But I had to buy polyester batting and paints.

There wasn’t a chance of me making anything usual. The question was how unusual my creation was going to get. At first, I wanted to make a bag in the shape of Appa, the sky bison from “Avatar” (the cartoon series, not the film) but then I would need to make lots of additional details and I wasn’t quite ready for that. Then I remembered my favourite Business – the elephant from “Ilia Muromets and Nightingale Bandit” and sat down to work – downloaded the cartoon onto the new computer and made two sketches:

Эскиз сумки сзади
Sketch for the back
Эскиз сумки спереди
Sketch for the front

The hatching marks the shadows but I completely forgot about most of them later. After the sketch, I created the pattern, cut up the fabric, and sewed two parts of the bag – the outer from denim and the inner from lining and polyester batting.

Finally, the bag was ready.

Сшитая сумка
The sewn bag

Here comes the interesting part. I started with white priming. I didn’t have a real primer so I just painted the bag with white acrylic.

Сумка сшита и готова к покраске
Priming the bag

The most difficult part was transferring the countours from the sketch onto the fabric. I don’t even have photos of this stage – so exhausting it was. I tried to make holes in the paper, make dots through them and then connect them into one line. But the dots were so light that I couldn’t see them.

So I cut up the sketch along the main lines and traced them. At this point, most of the shadows were lost. But I learned my lesson – it’s much easier when you can draw. Now that wouldn’t be a problem at all.

After that, I coloured the drawing. I wanted to make the elephant grey, but they didn’t have black acrylic in the shop so I had to mix up red, green, blue, and white. Hence the elephant is kind of pink.

Сумка с рисунком без контура
The bag is painted

When the paint dries up (it takes about ten minutes), it’s time to apply the contour. The picture immediately becomes bright and clear.

Готовая сумка вид сзади
The back of the finished bag
Готовая сумка вид спереди
The front of the finished bag

The backgrounds are also from the cartoon but are less detailed. Working with acrylic paints is difficult but exciting. For me, it dries a bit too quickly. The painting looks like a mural (I like the uneven edges) and feels like plastic.

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