This bright heart is stitched simply, using many colors of stranded threads. Throughout this series we’ve been exploring different methods to shade your needlepoint. I hope you have discovered some great techniques. Sometimes though, shading isn’t needed. That’s because shading essentially tricks our brains by allowing our eyes optically to mix the two adjoining colors.
Think of what happens when you create a blended stitching thread made of two colors. As you stitch sometimes the first color shows, sometimes the second color shows and sometimes the stitch has strands of both colors showing.
What you don’t see, at the individual stitch level, is a color that isn’t either of your two original colors. To find this color, you need to hold the stitching at a distance so that your eyes can see the area stitched with the blended threads. Your brain then mixes the two colors seen by the eyes to create that intermediate color.
This fusion of eyes and brain is called optical mixing. In one way or another it’s why shading works in needlepoint.
Things can interfere with the process and when they do you can’t shade.
We see two of them here.
You cannot shade if the shaded area is interrupted too often. The black lines inside the heart break up the design and would interrupt any shaded areas. Unless you can shade consistently across several areas with the same colors, you are better off not shading
Shading needs space to work. If you were to create the simplest blend, the 50/50 one, you would still need a minimum of three rows to accomplish the shading, one for each solid and one for the blend. Most of these areas are not that wide.
As a result this design is not shaded.
- Mindy needlepoint mini canvas 1A
- Silk Lame Braid SL01(black)
- Baroque Silk 1248 Blue Topaz (teal)
- DMC Floss 603(Pink), 321 (red), 740 (orange)699 (green), 702 (light green), 727 (yellow), 517 (blue), 792 (blue-violet)
- Needlepoint Inc. silk 133 (yellow-orange)
- City Needlepoint Silk 34 (hot pink)
- Planet Earth 6-strand 1003 Sunburn (red-orange)
- Stitch the black background in Reverse Skip Tent, below, using black Silk Lame.
- Stitch the teal border in Tent using one strand of Baroque Silk.
- Stitch the green dots in the border in Needlepoint Cross Stitch, below, using two strands of light green (702) floss.
- Stitch the black lines in the heart in Tent using black Silk Lame.
- Stitch the remainder of the heart in Tent using four strands of the colored threads.
Come back next month for the final canvas in this series.