Wednesday, May 18, 2011

FYI: Just to Clarify

A blog reader recently asked me an interesting question about my new shadow stitching cyber class, PETUNIAS, and I thought I'd share it with you as well...
Marcy asked if my shadow stitching involves blending 2 or more thread colors in one needle, and then changing thread colors at every color change on the canvas.

My answer is: No, no, no! (That sounds like a fascinating technique, however, but way too much work for these little canvases...)

For my PETUNIAS I use 1 ply of a stranded silk and work one color over the whole flower (in this case, the center petunia). I use a slightly different color on the corner petunias (which you can see are a bit darker). The background is also worked with 1 ply of one green color. Whatever happens after that...just happens.

To me, the fun of using shadow stitching technique on these flower images is to see what happens as the thread color blends with the canvas colors underneath. Similar colors merge together; different colors start to compete with each other and create unexpected color "vibrations". For example: on the center petunia above, look at the glowing bright pink center of the upper petal near the bullions... That brightness comes from the canvas underneath, and shows through the pink thread on top.

Granted, using just one color over a detailed canvas mutes a lot of the crisp details and blurs the image overall. But it also takes on a watercolor wash over the whole piece, which is an effect I really like. Then, it's up to the stitcher to embellish whichever details you want to highlight - like the bullions in the petunia centers and the vein lines in the petals. Overall I think it looks kind of magical, don't you? (I should also mention that my challenge as a designer is to find the right images that will support this simple shadow technique. So currently, I'm looking thru my flower photos and selecting images that have lots of large areas that will work best for my one color technique.) a nutshell Marcy -- I have to say that my shadow stitching is pretty darn simple - one color per area, basically. Because, frankly, I like my stitching projects to be as fun as possible. When I started experimenting with these small flower images, I wanted to try something different, but I also wanted it to be a fast project as well. I consider these shadow stitching canvases to be fun "breather" projects that can be done quickly in-between other complex, long-term projects (and we all have plenty of those waiting to be done, don't we?).

Anyway, I hope this bit of clarification gives you more information about my PETUNIAS, and I hope it tempts you to give it a try!

1 comment:

Anne Stradal said...

Love your "Petunias," Laura, and the unexpected color vibrations are loud and clear! In defense of needle-blending, it's equally easy and sooo doable on a small canvas area. If you can follow a "recipe" for combining plies of floss, it goes as quickly and smoothly as shadow-blending.

I'd love to get my little fingers on your "Garden Gate" and create a realistic sky behind it for you!