Here’s some great ideas for needlepoint if you want to play with color in your stitching. You might even want to do a series of small pieces trying out several of these ideas.
One of the things I love to do with my needlepoint is to experiment with color. I do this often with small, ornament-sized projects. You can take any one of these ideas to be the basis for an ornament color scheme. If it works out — great! If it doesn’t you have not wasted much time or money.
When possible shop your stash first to do these experiments. If you don’t have the colors you need, buy floss because it is an inexpensive choice.
- Use a restricted palette of one color. How can you make it interesting?
- Try using colors you dislike to see if you can make something pleasing.
- Use only your favorite colors, do they work together naturally or do you have to work hard to make them look good?
- Deliberately pick colors that don’t look good together, how can you make them work?
- Choose contrasting colors you don’t often use.
- Have someone else pick colors for you and only use them in a piece.
- Vary the proportion of the different colors in two similar pieces. Does one work better than the other?
- Choose a mood or emotion, pick colors that express it to you.
- Find a room, dress, photo, or painting you like. Pick colors from it and stitch something.
- Using that same palette, alter the proportions and stitch something else. Does it look as good?
I particularly like the one about using colors you dislike. I don’t do this often but I remember one project in particular. For a guild project I was leading, the scheme was supposed to be based on a random skein of Watercolours. I decided for the model to pick a skein that always gave me a”What was I thinking?” feel. It was a real challenge to use it but the result turned out great! I accomplished this by making the main color in the skein the accent for the solids and the main accent the main shade in my solids. The project went from something that no one would associate with me to one that was an exciting extension to my usual colors.
Color is something we learn about by trying, doing, and looking. The more you play with color, the more confident you will feel about your choices.