Monday, February 16, 2015

Imari Dragonflies Is All About the Layers (and Beads)

The Naked Canvas!  How would you stitch it?

Whenever I start stitching a designer model, I discover that the hand painted canvas has a theme that strikes me as I try to figure out how to stitch it. Leigh Designs' Imari Divine Dragonflies is the perfect example of this.Above is the bare canvas which I stitched for Leigh.  (And yes, my stitch guide is available.)

Looking at the canvas with a critical eye, you'll see four quadrants separated by a teal and gold brocade ribbon.  There is a pink flower in the center and three dragonflies floating above it all.  The upper left and lower right quadrants have 3-4 background patterns while the quadrants with the larger pink flower and the thorns with berries have only one background.  That made this piece all about layers and their positions relative to each other. How do I make the central flower the most prominent one when the other flower is larger?  How do I make dragonflies look like they are on top of four busy patterns?  How do I stitch the various backgrounds so they work together along the edges where they meet?  What do I do with the four solid color corners so that they contain this mayhem without looking too plain?

My general rule when I need to make something more prominent is to slap beads on it.  

Two Pink Flowers
Therefore the central pink flower is solidly beaded.  The dragonflies each have very large beads along their bodies to draw attention to them, but there are only a few so that the beads don't distract from the beauty of the paint on their wings (done in light coverage stitches so it shows up).  The larger pink flower has a complex pattern and hex beads so the visual interest balances the thorn berries which are very prominent because they are totally beaded but in only one color against a rather plain background using round beads.

Thorn Berries Seen from the Side

It's all a balancing act, making the things you think should be prominent stand out while you use various tricks (my favorite is light coverage stitches) to make the various backgrounds recede.

Imari Dragonflies Finished

All of the Imari series is about layers fighting each other for attention.  Leigh really knows how to challenge a stitcher!
http://www.leighdesigns.com/Grp628x.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright January 27, 2015 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

8 comments:

  1. This is absolutely beautiful. You've mastered dimensional stitching with your stitches and beading.

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  2. Thanks for the nice compliments, Anne and Brenda. They are much appreciated.

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  3. You packed a wealth of information into this brief post, Jane. A wonderful explanation of your process.

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    1. Thank you, Nancy. For me, it's all about figuring out what the canvas is saying and then trying to enhance that. But I like a challenge. For many, the canvas just whispers "basketweave" and "relax!"

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  4. Those dragonflies sure look like they're hovering above the canvas.

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  5. Thanks for sharing your thoughts as you interpreted this lovely canvas. Fabulous job!

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  6. Thanks, folks. I'm glad you enjoyed reading about my thought processes as I stitched. I'm glad you like the floating dragonflies!

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