Needlepainting tips part 5: shading in patches

Needlepainting tips part 5: shading in patches

Continuing from where we left last time, let's take a look at the “non-conventional” placement of colors at needlepainting.


A quick recap for those who missed the previous part of the needlepainting tips:

The majority of lessons and tutorials for long and short stitching (including the lesson on this blog) show the traditional way of shading, which goes from top to the bottom in horizontal rows of colors.

However, when you come to the actual needlepainting you might find out that the directions of stitches, the placement of colors can vary A LOT from project to project. The most confusing part in such cases, is usually the order of work: where to start from, is it better to go row by row switching colors or finish each color area separately, etc.

It may not seem that complicated when you look at the project but as soon as you start, the questions keep arising.

Needlepainting tips part 5: shading in patches

So, in July we discussed diagonal shading and the order of working it. Now, I have to remind that what was demonstrated is only my way of working such patterns of shading. I actually saw a different approach in a book once (similar to the traditional one, just changing the colors couple of time in one row) so be aware that there are other methods and ways and maybe you will even develop your own preferred way of working it!

This time, let's take a look at shading in patches. If it sounds weird, I'm sorry, but that's the only term that comes to my mind when I think about it, haha. What I mean by patches are spots of colors placed randomly in a shape that is supposed to be long and short stitched.

For example, look at Euphoria piece. The flower there is shaded exactly in patches. The borders are not that clear because the colors are close in temperature although having different hues. There are yellowish, pinkish and coral colors placed as spots randomly and only the lightest color on the edge of the petals and the brightest coral close to the center of the petal, only these two have the same placement from petal to petal.

It was really fun to work it, merging few hues together which made the “base” color of the flower not clear. Is it yellow or light pink? There is no real answer because both colors are present there equally.

Now that you have an idea about what shading in patches is, exactly, here are two examples with step by step pictures.

Needlepainting tips part 5: shading in patches

First of all, pause, look at the placement of spots and think: how would you work it? In what order would you shade this petal? From the left? From the right? What next? Make a simulation of working the petal in your mind.

Done?

Now, this is how I worked it.

Needlepainting tips part 5: shading in patches

1-3. Theoretically, I could start it from the right as well, it wouldn't make much difference.
4. We had to work the two top patches first because this one is attached to both of them. That's why we couldn't work the left corner and then this one consecutively.
5. This one is attached to both patches of colors above again.
6. The last one, I guess, is quite self-explanatory?

For these examples, I took thread of similar colors, but the hues are a little different. My goal was not to perform a good shading, like from lighter to darker colors, or have some realism. My goal was to work the patches and make them evident for you when you look so that you can tell the colors and patches apart in a finished petal.

Needlepainting tips part 5: shading in patches

Here is a look at the petal under natural lighting. The colors merge better here, but you can still the patches here, right? This example is veeery close to how I worked Euphoria :)

Now let's take a look at the second example, slightly more complicated. Look at the placement of patches and think how you would work this petal, what would be your order of work?

Needlepainting tips part 5: shading in patches

When you are ready, look at my process of working it:

Needlepainting tips part 5: shading in patches

1-3. the first two patches are quite clear
4-5. Now, why did I work the one on the right and not the one no the left? Because the left one goes a little under the right one, so it is attached to it. That's why the right one has to be worked first.
6-7. And the last ones are our good old horizontal rows for traditional long and short stitching.

Here's how the petal looks under the natural lighting.

Needlepainting tips part 5: shading in patches

Did you guess the order of work correctly? Would you do it differently?

I think these kinds of exercises are golden for long and short stitch practicing and they will prepare you for working serious needlepainting pieces, like Magnolia bu Trish Burr that we worked together recently.


So, next time you have spare time, draw a couple of petals with random spots inside and try to figure out how to work them, it will be fun!

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