Colored Pencil Techniques 3

Class 3 taught us a little more practice in blending. Tonight we chose a light color and paired it with a darker color. The goal was simply to work on smooth blending from dark shade to light.

Here is a steady yellow layered by a fading orange.

And here is a steady light purple layered by a brownish red.

Then we were given this photocopy of Tom’s work to mimic. I felt better about this than I did the pumpkin pepper from last week – I think because there were clearer color variations that also matched pretty well with my colored pencils. Or, maybe I am just getting the swing of things. But either way, I went undaunted.

I sketched my pear, then added my colors. I was a little frustrated with getting it to look realistic but then Tom suggested I use baby oil. Honestly, I don’t think I’d be enjoying colored pencils as much as I am without this tip. Instantly, my image came to life. I do wish we had more time in class because I wasn’t finished and hurried through to pretend I was once I realized the time.

Not perfect, but with only 4.5 hours invested so far total in colored pencils, I’d say pretty darn stellar!

WIP-TAST-ic Wednesday 9

I completed the blanket I have been working on, so I will post that separately once I get some nice photos. I took several already, but this cave-house of mine irks me to no end with lighting! I must wait for either a sunnier day or Boy’s help. (On our recent spectacularly warm sunny day, I spent it all outdoors raking acorn and twig debris off my backyard, loosening the bare dirt beneath, and tossing on grass seed, followed by a good soapy + windex-y window washing inside and out all around! Yes, today’s muscles regret that.)

I cheat a little, too, today because I only finished last week’s TAST earlier this afternoon, but I pre-dated it to yesterday here on the blog to keep organized (I don’t want to include a finished project in my WIP posts).

And that brings us to today’s WIP, which is this week’s TAST – the cretan stitch! I have it all planned out and will hopefully make good progress on it before the weekend. This is a brand new stitch to me so I am super excited to practice it!


TAST: stem stitch

You’ve read about my idea for this here, right? Ok! See all completed TAST posts here.

Front and back:

I wrote the phrase “left to right = below!” which will help me remember how to sew the stem stitch (the outline stitch would read “left to right = above!” though some say that they are really the same stitch, just done differently…). I often look it up first or risk moving the working thread above and below and back above, which I realized was part of why mine never look right. I also realize that for me, even though many tutorials suggest you split the difference between where the thread enters and exits the fabric for your next stitch, mine always looks better if I enter just next to where the last thread left. The other main thing I was doing wrong is not changing the length of each stitch – most of the other stitches I know look best if the lengths are the same, so I was following that rule. Well, that is a huge fail for curves! Shortening the stitches around bends is exactly what needs to be done. I have so much improvement in the skill – now I just need to remember to be patient when I sew it around curves, as they take much much longer than straight lines!

The moment I saw a padded raised stem stitch, I just had to make a rainbow. I don’t know where that inspiration came from, but it was definitely happening! I don’t necessarily like rainbows, or basic primary/secondary colors, but wow! I love the effect here.

Then I pondered on how to fill the space and I knew I wanted to honor Sharon, since she is the brains behind this project and this would be a perfect place. Originally the phrase was going to say “coordinated by” or “courtesy of” or something but I worried I wouldn’t get the words to fit and look nice. I settled on “TAST by” and I hope it doesn’t come off like she is the one who sewed it up (because, hello, hers would be so much more magnificent!!). The white doodles are just squiggles to practice curves, but I chose white to simulate clouds.

The first line are three greens, shading from light to dark. Then, fortuitously, Mary recently posted a new (for me) version of stem stitch during the week so the timing was great! I added some orange stem stitch roses. The red squiggle is a raised stem stitch (similar to the rainbow but not padded). The purple line (standing in for indigo) is laced. The yellow line is whipped in blue. And the violet line is the Portugese knotted stem stitch – pretty easy and now one of my favorites!

And of course, the title. I only have one skein of black and I am pretty frustrated with it. It is DMC, but must be really really old because its so fuzzy and is cranky to stitch with. But, with no pennies for the craft budget, I am grateful I have anything at all to stitch with! I did buy some wax to try, so perhaps that will help. Hmm, note to self….