One thing that’s nice about many crafts, including needlepoint, is that the process of making things takes long enough that if something is a VERY BAD IDEA, you can abandon it.
Like most of you, I have plenty of UFO’s that got mired in muck before they got done. The picture here is one of the few muck-ups I actually finished.
It started with a clever idea. Inspired by Japanese screens I thought it would be neat to do a metallic background. I liked that the iris was realistic but also harkens back to the Japanese love for this flower.
The idea might work, but not on this canvas and not in that metallic.
The flower was stitched. It’s fine. Then the muck-up begins.
Let’s think about what’s wrong because it’s very instructive.
- Not enough contrast: The value of the background is too close to the values of the iris, so the iris doesn’t stand out.
- Area inside circle not defined: BY using the same thread for the entire background, I missed a chance to put focus on the iris by making the two backgrounds different. Think how cool this could have looked if the area inside the circle was a light silvery white and the outside a very dark non-metallic gray. That would draw your eye straight to the flower.
- Metallic too varied: This metallic is not a sid silver but more of a tweed. That creates a subtle texture that is just too much for such a simple canvas. Another more solid metallic might have worked.
This canvas bugged me so much it has put me off metallics as backgrounds for years. It’s only now that I can even think about trying it again and it’s been more than ten years.