Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Despite its diminutive size--5 inches tall and 2-3/4 inches wide--the Eldred Rock lighthouse canvas poses a definite stitching challenge. There are six "layers" to this design, and the choice of threads and stitches for each is critical to establishing an illusion of depth.
I began first with the snow on the mountain ranges. When viewed from a considerable distance, snow doesn't "twinkle"--it appears as a flat white surface. So I stitched it, not with a metallic, but rather four plies of white DMC cotton floss in basketweave. I then filled in the upper and lower mountain ranges with four plies of DMC floss #334 and DMC floss #312, respectively.
On to the sky, which I wanted to look as though it disappeared behind the mountain ranges. After testing out my theory on doodle canvas, I stitched the sky in basketweave using two plies of DMC floss #3325. I wasn't aiming for "light coverage," which I personally think to be inappropriate for this type of design, but I wanted a less "beefy" look when contrasted with the density of thread in the snow caps of the mountain ranges. The two plies of floss covered the already-painted area nicely but provided a subtle transition from the sky to the mountain areas.
Moving down to the tree line, I wanted to gradually increase the profile of stitches compared to those of the mountain ranges. I chose one strand of Impressions #5061, a misty-looking blue/green color appropriate for trees still in the distance, in a diagonal vertical oblong cross stitch. I'll complete this area when I've stitched the white of the lantern room. Then it will be time to work on the lighthouse itself!