Behind the scenes of working on Aqua Botanicals

Behind the scenes of working on Aqua Botanicals

When you see some pieces of art and crafter's creations, don't you wonder how they came up with the ideas and how these works were brought to life? It happens with me all the time. So I thought maybe you would also like to take a peek behind the curtain and walk with me the process of “cooking” the most recent tutorials series - Aqua Botanicals, see the problems I faced and solutions that were found.

When I prepare a new design the first step is always sketching and tracing in Photoshop. I'm not that good at drawing, frankly speaking. Never was good, don't really have the inner artist in me who sees the colors and shapes and can transfer them to a piece of paper. However, I try to flex my drawing muscles from time to time and doodle in my notebooks.

I'm probably one of the examples of the fact that you can actually learn to draw even if you start from a scratch having no artistic skills and education. Remember how we talked about talent? Yup, it all applies here as well.

I'm still not near as good as I wish to be though, but better than when I started, haha. If you're interested I might make a separate post about it later :)

After sketching and tracing it into a lineart, I print it, transfer the design to the fabric and start working it. Usually by this time I already have a color palette and stitches in mind. This time, however, I stumbled many times until I came to the image that satisfied me.

At first, I was going to make one of the plants like this (and the rest of them were supposed to follow the similar style) :

Behind the scenes of working on Aqua Botanicals

Sorry for the quality, that's the only picture that left from this step.

It didn't really appeal to me, though, something felt off. The leaves were okay, but the flowers were too dull and boring for me. The similar color scheme was used for Serenity designs, but there it worked much better.

So the flowers were picked out and stitched over, this time in another color scheme.

Behind the scenes of working on Aqua Botanicals

But again, something felt wrong. The result didn't speak to me, I didn't feel any personal connection, there was no “eureka” moment, you know?

The main problem was with the flowers and I still didn't know how to fix it and what colors to use that would really pop. After all, the stem here is rather long, the leaves' area is quite large compared to the flowers, so there was a need for balance, but I wasn't sure how to achieve it.

When I'm not sure how to progress with a project, I step aside form it. I carefully leave it in a drawer, occasionally taking it out and just plain staring at it with light sighs until I get some idea. So while this plant was waiting for me to experience an artistic revelation, I moved to the next one.

And that was an even bigger disaster, haha.

Behind the scenes of working on Aqua Botanicals

So I started working the leaves filling them all with the same color having only a darker outline and a central vine. 

In the middle of working it, I already realized that I'm moving in the wrong direction and that this is getting worse than the previous plant. But I still proceeded till the end just to get a full view of it. Not because I thought “maybe it will look okay once finished”. No, I was already sure it's not going to work. But just to see the whole piece stitched, even in the wrong way.

Since I already decided that this plant wasn't working, I decided to use it as a draft of sorts and check how other elements would look like when worked according to my plan.

Behind the scenes of working on Aqua Botanicals


And, of course, my initial plan failed (I will not say which one 😋). Thankfully, I realized it while working on this “draft”. Otherwise, I would have to pick out the stitches again. In the end, I settled on a technique that satisfied me for this part. But the question still stood with the colors.

So I took watercolors.

Behind the scenes of working on Aqua Botanicals

The concept changed completely. Not only the palette, but also the stitches and their placement was altered.

Behind the scenes of working on Aqua Botanicals

The next step was to try the colors. And because I already picked out my first plant twice and wasn't eager to do the third time if the new plan didn't work, I worked few elements in the new color combination in the corner of the “draft” piece.

The puzzle pieces fit, at last, the combination seemed to be a success so I worked the plants over :)

This was the “eureka” moment that I was waiting for. The finished results spoke so much louder to me and appealed the eye better. You can compare the pictures from this post to the finished results and see the difference. 

The balance was finally there, the colors popped up, the technique was not too difficult even for a beginner. And instead of dull and withering like the first result, the final ones were bright and chirpy! The summer mood was saved!

The geometric shapes were gone too because they seemed to be an excess for these designs in particular. But I have to confess, I already miss them and already plan to add them to the next series (it's already in the works).

To conclude this post, here's a reminder: always trust your gut feeling.

Whenever you feel that something is wrong, something is off, doesn't look right... even if you can't put a finger on what exactly is amiss, and you just know it's “something”, still, trust this intuition. In fact, I believe it's a universal rule that applies basically to all areas of our lives. But it is just as important to remember this when you embroider. 

Don't hesitate to work your projects over and be ready to spoil some fabric with experimenting, just like a painter would spoil some canvas before creating a masterpiece :) You got that!


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