The Turtle Moves!

Another foray into fantasy / sci-fi crafting, this time influenced by the incredible Discworld series of books. I had such fun making the Dr Who t-shirts for a Craftster swap that I knew I wanted to make some for myself – but not just Dr Who!

This is Great A’Tuin, the turtle that swims through space, carrying on it’s back four elephants – Berilia, Tubul, T’Phon and Jerakeen – that in turn support the weight of the Disc, the flat world populated by witches, wizards, dragons and policemen. (Just read the books…)

I used a pen-and-ink design (not my own this time) that I printed off, outlined in thick marker pen and placed under the material. Easy, I thought, I’ll just trace over it… That method worked ok-ish for the turtle’s flippers, shell and the rough outline of the Disc, but failed miserably for any detail, such as the elephants and A’Tuin’s head. A couple of the elephants may look a tiny bit odd if you look really closely, due to the fact that I had to draw them freehand – not a problem with pencil and paper but trickier with thick sticky paint and a white t-shirt – once this paint is on, that’s it – not coming off!

I added the green swirls in an attempt both to represent the turtle shell and to detract from the slightly wonky legs of the elephants. I think the t-shirt actually needed the swirls to lift the design a bit, but if you try anything similar yourself, beware! You need a really steady hand…I completed the swirls in about 3 sessions, with one minor disaster (since concealed with relative success), since the pressure of having to maintain constant and very light pressure on the tube of paint at the same time as carefully drawing tiny swirls made my hand tremble appallingly!

These are the paints I used. I would use them again for similar tasks; they wouldn’t be suitable for stencilling or blocks of colour, but they do work well for outlines and detail. I also like the pearlescent, slightly 3D finish.

And I have one more plain t-shirt to decorate…


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