Friday, June 3, 2016

More About the Egyptian Cat's Nose

The Original Canvas, Unstitched

Yesterday Donna wrote:

The Egyptian cat...that you blogged about...black cats have black noses, that may be why none of the rose/coral colors look right. Do you ever make a color change when you do these stitch guides? If the cat is "painted" or "enamel" wouldn't the entire canvas have the same sheen? you would have only shadows to create dimension....

Before I answer Donna's question I want everyone to look at the unstitched version of the design from Tapestry Fair above.  Colors show up differently on computer monitors so I pulled out my DMC color card.  The nose is closest to DMC# 3341 in color with some darker #3340 shading at the bottom and outside edges of the nose.  The nose color is similar to the medium peachy-orange shade around the sides of the cat's face at the edges of the light orange square in the center of the canvas.

To answer Donna's question, yes, I do change colors occasionally when working a canvas. Normally I change a shade because the color painted isn't available in the threads I have in my stash.   On this canvas, the blue "eye liner" color is different in shade than the blue Splendor I am stitching it with, for example.  I usually rummage in my stash to choose colors of thread as there are no stitching shops near by.  I have been known to change colors as well, but usually it's because the thread type I want to use doesn't come in that color.  For me, texture trumps exact color matches and I use what threads I have at hand when I can.

Why did Tapestry Fair choose a different nose color than a traditional black?  I suspect because the cat has a black face.  A black nose next to black fur and black nostril holes is going to disappear into the design.  I can't think of any way to stitch a black nose that would make it visible, particularly in photographs. 


Shine?  Bling? Where?!

Cameras cannot see the shine of metallics or silks, and they are blind to the charms of beads and the glitter of sequins or the shadows these things throw.   When one stitches models and does stitch guides of them, you learn to accept that only the few shop owners who go to trade shows will ever see the full charm of a model one has stitched that incorporate sparkly items.   The photographs posted online will not capture the full impact of a design that uses any of these type things.  Above is Exhibit A--Leigh Designs' "Miami Gold Digger" in the best close up photo I could get.  You cannot see the metallic trim on her jacket, the shine of the beads on the flamingos purse, the silk sheen of the little dog or the sparkles in her jewelry.  Trust me, they are there, but neither my camera or my scanner can see them, even with sunlight bouncing off the beads and silks and metallics.

So in the case of the Egyptian cat,  I'll stick with the painted colors since this piece is an online study piece.  If I changed the nose to black, it would disappear in online photographs, making Tapestry Fair unhappy and not selling the stitch guides I hope to sell once I finish up the piece.

I'd also had enough of trying to stitch with black thread on black paint on this one anyway!

Does that answer your question, Donna?

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 2, 2016 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

2 comments:

  1. Jane, I've been thinking about "E.C.'s" nose. Besides the odd color choice (which I understand, having read your explanation), something occurred to me. You mention that, "texture trumps exact color matches", and I agree. Texture is what sets np aside from other needlearts. In cat circles (maybe dog circles, too) the nose skin is referred to as 'leather'. The various stitches and threads you experimented with are smooth. Might I suggest that you try a simple tent stitch in the perle or silk, which would convey the 'leather'.

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    1. Good point, Cindy. I started to think tent stitches for the nose last night when I updated the background photo of the Egyptian Cat.... We'll see. I have both size 12 perle and cotton floss in those shades I think. The size 12 is a little small for tent stitches I think but I'll have to see.

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