Autumn Nuno Slow Stitch – Considering Value

Autumn Nuno Slow Stitch – Considering Value

I updated you about my autumn nuno landscape project about one month ago in this post. I had been discouraged with the project and it was languishing. So I asked for suggestions and I appreciate all the support. I decided to go ahead and keep working on it but only doing about 15-20 minutes a day. (Click on any of the photos to enlarge.)

Here’s what it looked like one month ago. I decided to start filling more of the middle ground with a combination of neutralized red and green seed stitching.

Here you can see how much seed stitching can be completed in short spurts. But I was still dissatisfied with the piece. Why was that? After working on it steadily, I took some time to look back at my reference photo and see what I had missed. Then I realized that I didn’t have enough dark values to show the shadowed areas in the landscape. Aha!

I started by adding a more neutralized green in the area between the aspen trees. I used a much thinner thread (1 strand floss) and smaller stitching. It darkened up the area a bit but that wasn’t enough.

So then I started adding a dark brown in the same area. Again, I used one strand of floss and smaller stitches. I am still essentially doing seed stitch but piling it on top of other seed stitches.

So here is how far I have gotten with my slow stitching. I am happy that I figured out what was bothering me about the piece. There are still lots of more shadows to add in to give the impression of lines of trees. I also think that I will add a more neutralized green over the distant pines in places. The more stitching I add, the more it seems to need. But at least I am moving forward.

Can you see the difference when you compare the piece side by side, before adding darker values and after? Do you think about value contrast when you’re working on a composition? Do you have any tricks for seeing value contrast better?

16 thoughts on “Autumn Nuno Slow Stitch – Considering Value

  1. I really like this Ruth, it is coming on a treat. At least you’re keeping on with it. I’m ashamed to say that I’d be more inclined to put something I’m dissatisfied with in my craft “recycle” bin and move on to the next thing.
    In my long ago art classes (about 60 years) I was taught to squint at a piece of work so that it would be easier to see the relative values of the colours I was using, that is how light or dark each colour looked relative to the others on the page. You were right to add more dark stitches, since the dark ones help the lighter brighter ones stand out – something the old masters used to “highlight” an important part of a picture. I’m glad you asked the question, because it has made me think back and decide that I need to bone up on my colour theory.
    Looking forward to your next episode.

    1. Thanks Ann, it sometimes is easier just to put a piece away that isn’t working. But I think that I often learn more from pieces that aren’t working and discovering how to fix them. Squinting does work for me to better see the values. I also take a photo on my phone and look at the piece smaller or from “a distance” and I can spot areas that aren’t working. Boning up on color theory is a lifelong practice, isn’t it?

  2. As Ann just said, squinting and getting the piece out of focus can help with your values. Alternatively you can photograph your work and make it b/w to see where the values lie. You also need to think about your light source and where it is coming from. Colors tend to recede in the distance and are more vibrant near the front. For every dark color you put in, think about the lights and vice versa and put that next to each other so they stand out. I had been painting for more years than I have been felting so this is what I tend to do even when I make a scarf. I think the piece is coming along nicely. Stitching isn’t my favorite thing, so good on you for persevering. πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you, creating a black and white version is a good idea. Remembering the light source is also a good reminder. I’m sure your painting experience has been really helpful in your felt making. Perseverance is one thing I can do, or perhaps it is stubbornness:)

  3. Hi Ruth,
    I think your piece is coming on nicely now that you have added the depth of vour with additional colours. Glad you feel better about it. All the very best.

  4. You’ve really found the key. It’s coming along quite nicely. I have to say you have the patience of a saint and so much determination. It’s paying off.

    1. Thanks Marilyn, as I said in previous replies, I don’t give up easily. It might take a while but I will get there eventually 😊

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