Really messy

At this point in my design process, things look pretty chaotic.  But, actually I made quite a bit of progress… even if it doesn’t look like I got a lot of designing accomplished.  One of the main issues I dealt with was: How dark should it be behind the colonnade?  Well it turns out that my first choices were too dark:  In this image, the space behind the man remains too dark.  The spaces to the left are closer to the colors I think I need.

I know it’s hard to see *that* much of a difference… I pretty much just dropped the darkest shades of gray.  I can easily imagine things will change in these areas quite a bit… they seem very flat and boring to me at present.  We’ll see.

Here’s the color palette I’m using:  Sorry, the colors are really not true in this shot.  What looks like oranges are really gold-ish browns, and you really can’t see the antique purples much at all.

Normally I don’t label everything, but this time I’ve found it useful to group colors by value (darks to lights) and all of the color/blends within those values.  Originally, I was going to make the colonnade masonry shades of gray, until I remembered that the colors of the stonework in the walled city scene are shades of gray, brown, gold and of course, antique violet.  For the sake of design color uniformity, I switched to these colors:

…which I haven’t begun to add to the design yet, but will soon.  First, I’ll design as much of the greenery as I can, because I’ll just wind up deleting a lot of the masonry hidden by the green stuff.  Speaking of greenery, I choose colors for such areas like this:

I choose a “base” color family.  In this case, the 524, 523, 522, 3363, 3362 DMC sequence I tend to use a lot.  Then I pick a “brighter” series: the previous sequence blended in this case with the a yellow green sequence of colors. I’ll use these colors where the sun is hitting the foliage and I’ll probably only use the lightest shades of this color group.  Then for the “shady” areas of the foliage, the original colors blended with blue greens for areas in shadow should work well.

Someone asked how I go about working the over-one into the chart.  I don’t design over-one in the same chart as over-two.  But I do use a simple method of keeping track where the edges of the over-two stitching end, and the over-one edges begin:

Since I have designed the over-one figures in another file, when I copy and paste the backstitch lines, I also reduce them by 50% so everything is proportional (Remember I use a CAD program, so it makes this kind of thing very easy.)  I choose a fixed point in the main design…something I won’t be changing: in this case, the column because it’s between the figures.  When I have the figures positioned where I want them, I create a new layer and I draw squares which are the equivalent of the space a full cross stitch done over-two will take up on the chart, beginning at the edge of the column. (For clarity, I made them red.)  When I’m designing, I fill in around the figures using these blocks as a guide.  The rest of the “over-two edges” layer can be copied and pasted into the over-one designing file (and scaled up 200%) which will tell me where those over-one “fill in” stitches will need to be placed around the figures.  This layer is usually invisible when I don’t need it because I find too many lines distracting.  Which is also why I have the designing grid lines “grayed out” instead of black.

Hmmm.  I guess it’s a little more complicated sounding than it is.  Sorry about that.

I’m to the point where I’m soon going to need to start stitching to see how close I am with color choices… probably after designing the rest of the foliage and the far left column.  I nearly always have to make color adjustments as I stitch, so don’t be surprised if things change drastically with the next post!

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

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27 Responses to Really messy

  1. thegreytail says:

    oh, it just gets more and more interesting every time!
    thank you so much for explaining the placement of the over one figures and the blending, that’s something I can’t help but love about your designs even though I always hear it tends to drive stitchers a tad mad when they’re working towards a speedy finish 😉
    I have never indulged in a TW before but I’ve been admiring them for years and years, I really want to cut to the ground my WIP list (by moving them to the finished pile, not actually shredding them 😀 ) and your Rose Tree in Bloom is one of my carrots. the colours, details, composition, size, just perfect! 🙂

  2. Good Luck! I also hope this is the most enjoyable part of the charting process..stitching and adjusting as you go?

    • Hi Carla, I enjoy the stitching/adjusting the most… the charting process is pretty dry for me… the computer screen is flat, and the textures can’t be captured at all by the program. Touching the needle, thread and fabric, seeing the colors meld together and make sense: that’s my favorite part! 🙂

  3. Julie Stephens says:

    This is truly a fascinating glimpse! Thank you for sharing!

  4. Sylvia says:

    Teresa, Thank you for sharing your process with us. I look forward to one day stitching this design.

  5. Claire Armitage says:

    This is a definate must buy ,the day it’s ever released. Have loved this ever since I 1st saw peeks of this on the blog. I know the designs themselves to stitch are challenging , but wow the design process is even more so . Way to go Teresa ! X

  6. Lynnette Winkelman says:

    I, too, want to express my thanks to you for your designs and sharing the process of designing them with us, your faithful fans. I have enjoyed your designs for many years and especially love your detail and your blending of colors. Look forward to more insight into the design.l

    • Lynnette, thanks for commenting. I truly appreciate your support through the years. It’s because of the folks who have been waiting patiently for *years* that I NEED to finish this design!

  7. Terry says:

    Teresa, I’m sure I speak the truth when I say that there’s a lot more to the process of designing then we probably ever imagined, or at least I ever imagined. Will be looking forward to more of your progress, but at your leisure. Happy 4th of July, too!

  8. Belinda says:

    I’m enjoying these glimpses into the process! It will be so beautiful when it’s done and it may have to jump to the head of my stitching queue when it’s released 🙂

  9. Sonya says:

    I love seeing design processes, thank you for letting us have a glimpse into a small part of what you do!

    • Sonya, thank you. I’m never sure how interesting the technical end of things might be to stitchers… I don’t want peoples’ eyes to glaze over! For me designing takes at least as much time as stitching does, so I guess it’s fair game for blogging. 🙂

      • Count me in as another who is really enjoying a glimpse into your design process, and finding it to be fascinating. No chance of eyes glazing over here!

  10. Irene says:

    It’s cool to see your process, even if it sounds complicated.
    I LOVE the way you blend.

  11. I’m be your mucking around model Stitcher! Thanks for explaining the over one part. I have now decided it is very very complicated.

    • You’re very welcome; it was a great question. When I was working with model stitchers, I really gained appreciation for what they do… I’m sure I drove them nuts with the changes I made and designing in installments. 🙂

      • Think of that as employment perks. I’m sure my boss laughs on the inside with every change he requests. Then again; I screamed addy his face when we got him to ask Siri that “zero divided by zero” question.

  12. Lisa says:

    I see blends. Lots & lots of blends. And 3042. LOL

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