Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I'm still slowly working on 2 headed dragon, but not that happy with it though the kids love it. This is in wide cuts, and I really should have done this is smaller cuts. Having a hard time with contrasts and details in this. Colors that look good close up in person aren't showing up that well at a distance or in photos unless I really lighten them a lot. May have to rehook some areas like the sword in front of the left dragon and make the treasure chest stand out someway. If I do this design ever again I'm going to do it way larger or else go to smaller cuts. Definitely a primitive style as is. I have so much to learn on shading primitives and getting details to show up.

I started Walk Me Dragon yesterday. It has been nagging me and with the frustration s I am having with 2 headed thought I'd try something different. I did design this for wide cuts and am trying my new #8 blades out, I had a bunch of greens already cut and I am using them and going through my new greens I dyed a couple of weeks ago to supplement them if I need to. Already I have had to make modifications to the design. I had to do some minor changes to the dragon's muzzle and enlarge his head slightly for everything to work. I'm using my finished cross stitch and one of my painted canvases as a color guide. Today when I took everything loose to reposition my quilting hoop I enlarged the dragon's body as the head was too large for it. The new drawing now fits the space better.

But I am still dithering on what the background is going to be: meandering in cream colors, or do a scene? So I stared at it for a while and came up with a cave on the right and maybe a castle with turret on the left? I have the dragon standing on a rock ledge--I see that in beige's, tans and creams. I've got some more rocks by the cave maybe rusts, browns, golds, and grays? I also sketched in some mini dragons flying around. I'm not doing a McCaffery dragon so I'm not going to call them fire lizards but use your imagination. My walk me dragon has been around since 1993 when I first designed him as xstitch for my then PhoeniX Stitchery xstitch business when I was doing sci-fi cons, He's one of many dragons I've done over the years but my most favorite. If I go with this scene then I have a wonderful sky blue suede I can use for the sky that I found at my last thrift store hunt. I've also got some other pieces of sky blues I can add to it. The lettering will have to go or else be made smaller. My other opinion is doing the meander style background in shades of creams, and light colors. I found a bunch of sweaters that will work for this and some new light colored plaids that are heavy on the cream and beige side. Either way this is not getting a border as I want to try it without one.

Color planning for rug hooking is so much different than any other medium I have worked on before including quilting. Picking out the 'right' colors that will work well together, blend, shade, and look good with the whole composition is proving harder than I thought it would be given my background in art, painting, and other crafts. So much depends on your dyeing, what size cuts you do the fabric, and how it the cut hooks up, what colors are next to it to throw the color off or make it become invisible. There are more infinite possibilities for disaster as well success than I dealt with in cross stitch even using overdyed floss in my designs or mixing 2 to 4 strands of embroidery floss to get a color. Most of what I am working with is uncontrolled spot dyed fabrics that are overdyed over a base color or color and pattern. What looks like a great piece to use somewhere does not necessarily come out like I thought it would for good or bad. I think I'm going to try doing some controlled graduated swatches for future work and see if that cuts down my frustration levels. I know what I want to achieve but I am far from getting the results I want or need and I'm not even sure what questions I need to ask to figure out what I am doing both right and wrong on the dyeing and color selections for my work. Maybe I will break down and take a class with someone as I am gradually losing confidence in myself to pick the right colors for projects. Though most of my frustration is with the wide cut hooking, I'm still happy with the things I have done using the fleece and yarn instead of fabrics. It's just getting colors right in the larger cuts that is driving me nuts.


Wendy said...

The two headed dragon is progressing beautifully.

The walk me dragon is absolutely fantastic. I love his expression.

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