|Me (Sally a.k.a. nbnq / nearlybutnotquite/ nbnqnbnq) with my Herman ze German range of embroidered portraits.|
|Carlos Acosta embroidery|
|Dre from life embroidery|
The V&A's embroidered items on display when I visited were those with one-colour flat fill for flesh and outlines for definition. Lovely though they were, that's not what I was looking for. I was determined to create a painterly embroidery... and I was thirsty.
|Bratwurst at Herman ze German's|
|Bratwurst, Stein of Beer and some Sauce - at Herman ze German|
I used the same process of tracing the original image with a pencil over my lightbox, picking out the lines I wanted to keep (inspired by Frank Quitely's process that I saw on What Do Artists Do All Day), then I took the pencil tracing and repeated the process with a black fineliner, and then onto fabric with a water soluble pen.
|'Bratwurst' pencil drawing from photo by hand|
|Continuous(ish) line Dre on butter yellow faux suede (IRL)|
|Stitch plan of 'Stein' using coloured pencils|
Stem stitch in satin, metallic and normal floss for the hair.
French knots for pupils.
Multiple embroidery flosses used including satins and metallics on butter yellow faux suede.
|'Stein' - the colour portrait|
Picking up and putting down of stitchy projects does however seem to be the norm. Certainly whilst I was working on 'Stein' I also started stitching 'Bratwurst' just using a plain dark floss for a tiny, fussy, neat back stitch. My 'Eureka!' moment came upon seeing the back of the embroidery was so much more interesting than the front! Strong dramatic eyes and a fierceness that you don't get from the 'front' or from the original photograph. Rats! I thought at first. It's going to be hidden behind a frame. Oh Globbits!
|Detail from 'Bratwurst' whilst in progress|
|'Sauce 2' the 'back'|
|'Sauce 2' (mid framing)|
|'Bratwurst' embroidery (mid framing)|
|J&R see themselves as embroideries for the first time!|
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*I KNOW right!? (or if you actually don't know click)
**Though I hope to make it to the &Stitches Picnic in the Park and change that!