Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Color and scale
One common denominator of all my lighthouse ornament designs is sky. My choice of a blue shade for the sky depends on several factors. Where is the lighthouse located? Is the scene set on a sunny day or, in the case of one lighthouse--East Chop on Martha's Vineyard--is the sky foggy? Do I want to set a mood, as with the haunted Point Comfort?
Yet another consideration is the color of the lighthouse itself. To needle-blend the sky of the White River lighthouse, I chose DMC cotton floss #827 and #828 because it blended so well with the thread I'd chosen for the yellow Michigan bricks. I began with the darker shade--#827--at the top of the canvas using four plies. subsequently subtracting one ply of the darker shade and adding one ply of the lighter shade, until I reached four plies of #828 on the bottom right.
I then started auditioning a stitch to simulate brick, using DMC floss #738. Working with a building on such a small scale, every stitch I tried looked more like a block than a brick! I realized that a decorative stitch would only serve to gunk up the canvas. I gave up gracefully, stitching this area in basketweave, and consoling myself that the foundation would better lend itself to decorative stitches.
DMC #5 perle cotton was my choice in stitching the lantern room, since its weight gave this section more prominence against the sky as well as the tower itself. So far, so good--and I can now start shading and installing windows!