Monday, December 21, 2015

Want to Learn Needle Painting? Planning and Sketching

Dog Unstitched

Once again, here is my Leigh Designs canvas of the Miami Gold Digger, with the little dog I plan to needle paint.  Note that the animal is semi-realistic and that it isn't too large.  For your first needle painting attempt,  you probably should start small.  This canvas is 18 count and the dog itself is approximately two inches tall and a bit over three inches long at its widest point.

Once you have picked a canvas with an animal you want to needle paint, then it is time to take a careful look at the canvas and start planning. The best way to do this is to copy the canvas animal in black and white. 

Black and White Copy
If you look carefully at the dog in the black and white version, you can see the shading lines that Leigh Designs painted on it.  These lines are what you will be trying to reproduce in your needle painting.  But before you go any further, you need to take a good luck at what the dog is made up of.  In the photo, the dog has large ears, chubby cheeks, prominent eyes and nose and forehead, front paws clearly defined and a tail.  The rear end is much less defined as the rear legs and body are tucked under Mia's arm.  All this means that you will want some parts of the dog to stand out and some parts to be less prominent.  I like to make things more prominent with padding but there are other ways to do this.  You can use beads and bright colors, too.  With a white and gray dog, bright colors are out, so I planned to use padding on the cheeks, forehead and ears and to add beads for the eyes.

I am going to use stem stitches for the bulk of the dog's body, with a few straight and slanting lines where needed.  To help me keep the fur look accurate, I drew pencil lines on my black and white copy of the part of my canvas with the dog.  You do this by imagining that you are petting or brushing the fur with the pencil.  If you use a pencil, you can erase and redraw the lines until you are satisfied.  This is what I ended up with. Note that my marks are in blue ink so they are visible to you.

Lines to Guide Stem Stitches

Note that things change as you stitch.  You may not end up with fur that flows exactly this way but at least you have a plan.  Next time we'll talk about the various areas I stitched and how my plan changed over time.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at
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© Copyright December 17, 2015 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Oh Christmas Tree!

Stitch By Stitch's blog has a fun pictorial essay on stitching Christmas trees that is full of ideas for stitches to use on them. There's a stitch for every style of Christmas tree!!All-things-trees/o6dgx/566633a90cf256f068fe29ff

Bookmark this for the next time you can't find the perfect stitch for your next tree....

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at
and at
© Copyright December 10, 2015 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.