Saturday, December 8, 2018

Crewel & Colour, Pinks - Work in Progress

I feel as it has been a week of 4 stitches ahead, 2 stitches back....

After happily doodling way making Christmas trees last week I got back to my current crewel project. In some ways, I think the Christmas trees was a little escape, or a way of procrastinating because I still felt so undecided on the colour scheme for this piece.
Colour is such a personal thing and I think we all find some colours come more natural and are easier to work with than others.


I was torn between a palette of teal, burnt orange/coral and green - My Colours.. a colour scheme I am really comfortable with.
But having originally photographed the line drawing with a 'colour wheel' of bright colours around it, I was toying with the idea of embroidering it in more 'summery', cheerful colours and I do think the flowery design lends itself to something a bit more pretty and 'girly'.

Now I said in my last post about this project that I wouldn't be showing colours because of an upcoming class.. well that looks unlikely to go ahead so I will show you what I am up to.

Hint - How I Choose my colours
1)
I usually start out by trying to decide on a main colour scheme consisting of Three colour families: two complimentary families (close together on your colour wheel) and one contrasting (opposite side of the colour wheel).
For example: Teal and green are the complementary shades with orange/coral the contrast. The beauty of Appleton's crewel wool is that each colour family comes in up to seven shades, so once you have your main colours, it is fairly straight forward to pick the shades on either side.
2)
As well has that, I think of Tonal Value - how bright or muted they are and keep them relatively similar.
3) To that mix I will often throw in a 'Ping' colour, which I use very, very sparingly (the turquoise in the picture below)
4) In most cases, especially if I have a palette of quite strong shades (which I tend to do) I will also add a 'Nothing' colour, such a beige, dull brown or green. This helps to stop all the strong colours competing and tie the design together.

After 'playing around' with yellows, oranges, reds and pinks, I ended with this:


Green and Yellow as my complimentary colours and Pink as the contrast, a wee bit of turquoise as the 'ping' colour (not sure I will need it, there is enough 'ping' in those yellows and pinks to start a fireworks) and a beige/yellow to possible tone it all down just a notch.

HELP!! - how did that even happen?? - This is so NOT colours I usually work with and I am so NOT a pink girl. The thought of embroidering a pink piece of crewel work is rather daunting.. and challenging. At the same time, the colours feel right for this piece and I must confess I like a challenge. Besides, what is the worst thing that can happen? If I don't like it, I can rip it out and start again. So - pink here we go.

I started with some of the main stems, since that was relatively straight forward colour wise. The first flower started to emerge, and I am really not sure about those colours... Especially the real candy pink.


While pondering that I stitched some smaller details that I felt a wee bit more confident about.


 Back to the first flower, adding in a bit of yellow. It is cheerful, bright, too bright?



Persevering with my pink yarns, I moved on to another flower. The outer petals came naturally but those near the base caused me a wee bit of grief. Again the candy pink, is just too pink???

 
I thought that if perhaps I stitched the middle petal in a slightly different colour combo, omitting the candy pink, it would tone it down a bit and make it gel better...


No, it looked awful! I didn't quite know right away what to do to fix it so I left it there for the time being. It wasn't until more of the flower centre came together that I ripped the yellow out and used the same lightest pink as on the side petals - only the centre varies slightly now.


So after a week of 4 stitches forward and 2 stitches back, it is looking ok... I think. The top flower has come together nicely at the end but I am still not happy withe first flower and I am still not comfortable with the colours, or rather, I really have to think about it.


I hope the progress in the coming week will feel a little more smooth.

Have a lovely, stitchy weekend,
Anan XX

14 comments:

  1. Beautiful, so beautiful work, Anna, I admire your work every time I see it. I don't think that the colors are too bright, they look just good to me ;)!
    Hugs, Ilona

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ilona, I think it just because it is colours I don't usually work with. Looking at it this morning from a distance, it is coming along just nicely.
      Anna x

      Delete
  2. Stunning Anna! Looking forward to seeing more progress on this one. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sam. I am hoping to getting a lot more done this week.

      Delete
  3. It's looking great. And, the pinks . . . pink isn't "my" color, either; I never wear it. But do you know how many pink flowers were in my garden this summer? Camellias, roses, zinnias, Sweet Williams, a hyacinth . . . . Granted, half of them are "legacies" that came with the house, but still! And I loved the look, especially with rosemary bushes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pinks are everywhere, aren't they? I too have pink flowers in the garden - not a lot, but some. I like them there amongst all the green and these too are 'growing' on me.

      Delete
  4. I love your colour combination! I am very much a Pink girl - it's my favourite colour �� It was really interesting to read how you chose your colours too. I think once you get the other elements in the colours will balance out; bright flowers like this are so hopeful to me, and promise new beginnings - perfect for the New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks Aurelia. I am beginning to think it will be fine when it all comes together. I guess it has just really surprised my how much more difficult it is working in colours that doesn't come natural to you.
    Anna x

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you for the tips of choosing colours. It was very intresting for me.

    I think all these pinks are looking really good. And I'm not a pink lover to be truth. ;) But so many flowers in the nature are pink, so it looks really nice on your work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Colour is such a wonderful, strange and personal thing and sometimes it can be difficult to know where to start, can't it?

      Delete
  7. For what it’s worth, I like the pinks! Your way of choosing colours for Crewelwork is how I was taught too which was good to know for me! It’s funny how we naturally gravitate towards certain colours and pattens time and time again. If nothing, it is our human nature to be driven by habit as much as anything!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Catherine, the pinks are definitely growing on me. I guess it has just surprised me that it is feeling to awkward stitching with an unfamiliar colour way.
      Anna x

      Delete