Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Needlepoint Design and Inspiration: Shading (more)

More photographs fell out of an old file folder - and these I was glad to find. The Virgin of the Guadalupe dates back about 12 years to when I was doing Saints - (starting with St. Clare for needleworkers, and going through St. Monica for mothers and St. Catherine for young girls).

Guadalupe has always been well loved in Texas, and this one was very popular in my needlepoint line when I was still wholesaling. I was looking at her this morning, and realized that I like the position of her body and placement of the roses at her feet - and think it would be a good model for my planned "birthday angels" with the appropriate flowers. She would need a different hair do and dress colors, of course- and some wings.

Originally, I had intended for the roses to be done in silk ribbon embroidery, but that long ago, I had a difficult time convincing anyone to do it. Oh well. This might work on the angel guardian for June!

Next is a chair seat I painted for a woman a long time ago when I frist started designing painted canvas again. She was a "traditional type" needlepointer, and it was delightful having an appreciative audience for my efforts at painting shading that could be stitched easily.

As I remember, she brought me a magazine picture with the maple leaves, and also a picture of the toad that she wanted included. I first made a white drawingi paper pattern of the chair seat itself, and then freehand drew the design to fill it well. (can't do this any more).

As it was to be a chair seat, it had to be stitched in Persian wool, so I checked on the colors and ranges within each so I could mix paint accordingly.

The same was true on the toad. I always had to make sure also that there were as many shades of a color within the range as I needed to paint.
This is the kind of painting I used to love doing, but would never reproduce it - too tedious the second time.

You can look at the toad up close and see that, even though he is shaded to look rather realistic, one can actually see the divisions in the shades of the main color. He would be easy to stitch! I don't think designers consider this enough these days - which leads to confusion. (and "goop," to use GayAnn's term.)

The next photo was for the same lady - it was a stamp from the National Wildlife Federation.
My great challenge here was to make the frog's skin appear to be shiny, and also produce the effect of the leg dangling down below the surface of the water- I had to really check my available thread colors for this.
We opted to use DMC floss, as in silk there weren't enough shades or colors to do it. This is where sometimes people run awry - using whatever they find that matches the color of an area. This also leads to an unattractive stitched canvas, as it adds too much unneeded texture to the piece.

I'm almost finished cleaning out the files, and have found a few things that might be worth reproducing - but, as I've said, I'm now old and lazy and no longer capable of the kind of drawing and painting I did in past years. I'm enjoying the little bright simple things lately, and using more metallic threads and beads and PVV and other such lovely fun things!

I didn't find the three canvases I painted from Monet's waterlilies - the most difficult thing I ever painted, and the greatest challenge - but I was pleased with the result. I painted them for myself, of course, as they are under ownership and copyright - but I never got around to stitching them. I do, however, plan to do a few from the Matisse JAZZ series - I love those, and they are flat and simple! One could even do a few decorative stitches on them.


Rachel said...

You've been having a regular rummage, haven't you! And isn't it great to see some old friends and successes from the past!

Cool City Stitcher said...

This is so beautiful. You have amazing talents!

Anne Stradal said...

The frog on the lily pad with its leg dangling in the water is my favorite!

Mary said...

Judy, I have enjoyed seeing some of your old canvas designs. They are just lovely and I can imagine how great they would be stitched.

The one you are stitching for your son is especially gorgeous! Don't put it away again!! Keep on stitching!

Front Range Stitcher said...

I wish I were there to watch as you uncover your treasure files!It's such a treat to see your beautiful work, thank you for sharing the images with us. Your Lady of Guadalupe is fantastic and even though you designed this 12 years ago it's timeless, as are all your pieces. The brownish frog is amazing, beautifully shaded a cool addition to the fall leaves.