The Shady Side of Needlepoint

I’m sticking pretty well to my daily creative commitment, although I seem to have spent more time with my needlepoint than with the sketchbook. Never mind, it’s all doing me good.

The thing that’s bothering/interesting/engaging me at the moment, is shading.

The piece that I’m working on is inspired by stained glass windows and what I wanted to achieve, is a feeling of the texture of glass as light moves around it. Now this I feel needs some shading.

This is how it’s coming along – should keep me busy for a few months yet.

I have bought quite a lot of Appletons crewel yarns, because you get some gorgeous subtle graduations in shade, and the thickness of the yarn works well on the variable weave of the canvas.

Trying the jagged edge approach to shading

But actually doing the shading is teaching me some interesting lessons. I’m trying a variety of techniques – which range from jagged blocks of colour, to something almost approaching pointillism (although I just don’t think I have the patience to keep that up for long).

Trying out mixed colours

When I went to Canon’s Ashby earlier in the summer, I had a close look at some tapestry chairs, to see how they’d done shading in the seventeenth century – it seemed more like the graduated jagged blocks.

My biggest issue is with working at night – the time that I prefer to sew. The trouble is that although I can easily distinguish shade variations during the day, at night, under my lamp, I find it very difficult to see the real colours. It makes it quite a surprise in the morning, when I get to see it in daylight.

Happier with this bit, four different shades here, can you tell?

Ah well, on we go – it’s all a learning experience.

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