Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Needlepoint - Making a Background

Here is a Labors of Love canvas that I fell in love with when we had the trunk show in the shop. She's called the Bride. 
I picked threads choosing Impressions for her skin so that I could get the colors I wanted. Impressions normally wouldn't be my first choice for skin. I would usually go with something shinier. But I figure she's a monster and I can take liberties. 

Her hair is done with white pearl cotton and the brown is 3 strands of Vineyard Merino strandable and two strands of Burmilana. I got exactly what I wanted in terms of color. Then I started laying the pearl cotton and stitching over it to create the effect of the marcelled waves that Elsa Lanchester had in the movie "Bride of Frankenstein." I was fortunate in that what I had dreamed up in my head, worked when I started stitching.  
After solving the mystery of the hair, the only thing I needed to decide was what was my background going to be. Initially I had pulled two purple threads to create a background. But then I remembered my friend Johnny's painting of the Bride.

And suddenly I knew I didn't want an all-over background pattern. I wanted a wall. Here's where it got tricky. I really love the color on Johnny's painting. Could I find it in a stranded thread? Nope. Found what I wanted in Pepper Pot. This meant I wouldn't be able to make shimmery highlights. But I'm okay with that. 

I started by using the scan of the canvas I had made before beginning to stitch. And I drew on a wall on the print out of the scan. Then I pencilled in those grout on the canvas. I started stitching the grout with one strand of Impressions. But that wasn't working on white canvas. Two strands covered much better. Then I needed a floor. That's done with a cashmere variation I found in Carole Lake and Michael Boren's Canvas Embellishment book. I used one strand of Watercolours "Granite" for the floor. 

 
Lastly I started stitching a diagonal scotch to make the stones. And I see this canvas as having light coming in from the top right. That's when my friend Liz suggests staggering the color on a diagonal instead of straight across. Brilliant idea.
Here she is. All done and ready to go off the finisher. Now to make her a mate. Funny how I'm doing this backwards...

4 comments:

Sara Leigh said...

Well done! Great idea to make the background a wall.

lewmew said...

Wonderful!!!

Ann said...

Love this! The background made it!

Anna van Schurman said...

Great job! Love it when a plan comes together!