I LOVE LUCY; AN EMBROIDERED PORTRAIT ON COLORED FABRIC

In the last two weeks I have been experimenting with embroidered portraits. I have tried printing an image directly on fabric then embroidering over it HERE. Last week I tried sketching an outline in pencil, then painting on the fabric to create an underpainting before embroidering my portrait over it.

This week I thought it might be fun to try embroidering a portrait on a colored fabric.

I bought this magazine in 2016 because I have always loved Lucille Ball and the cover was just so gorgeous! I have wanted to tackle this as a portrait for a long time and I found this fabric in my stash which was PERFECT.  I sized the portrait to fit in a six inch hoop. The six inch hoop size is the sweet spot for my portraits. Big enough to allow for details but small enough to finish in a reasonable amount of time.

I bought this magazine in 2016 because I have always loved Lucille Ball and the cover was just so gorgeous! I have wanted to tackle this as a portrait for a long time and I found this fabric in my stash which was PERFECT.

I sized the portrait to fit in a six inch hoop. The six inch hoop size is the sweet spot for my portraits. Big enough to allow for details but small enough to finish in a reasonable amount of time.

I tackled the skin and most of the face but avoided the eyes and hair for later. I knew they were going to require some dedicated thought.

I tackled the skin and most of the face but avoided the eyes and hair for later. I knew they were going to require some dedicated thought.

Here is a close up.

Here is a close up.

Always odd to see a needle coming up through the face, especially the eyes, as the portrait becomes more life-like.

Always odd to see a needle coming up through the face, especially the eyes, as the portrait becomes more life-like.

I ended up tamping down the lips a little with another color, as they appeared a little startling with this coral.

I ended up tamping down the lips a little with another color, as they appeared a little startling with this coral.

Part of the reason I couldn’t wait to try this portrait was the hair! Those fiery red curls kept me busy for HOURS. In the end, I spent at least 8 hours on just her hair.

Part of the reason I couldn’t wait to try this portrait was the hair! Those fiery red curls kept me busy for HOURS. In the end, I spent at least 8 hours on just her hair.

There were SO many colors and directions and I used one thread (of the six stranded thread) to create the portraits.

There were SO many colors and directions and I used one thread (of the six stranded thread) to create the portraits.

I used a few shades of blue and some white french knots to create the eyes. I debated whether or not to add some other elements to the portrait. I have tiny pearl beads I could have used for the earrings, for example. I also thought it might be interesting to add white eyelet fabric to represent her shirt.  In the end I repressed the mixed media urge and decided to challenge myself to keep it all embroidery. I found it really fun to try to figure out how to represent pearl and lace using just embroidery stitches.

I used a few shades of blue and some white french knots to create the eyes. I debated whether or not to add some other elements to the portrait. I have tiny pearl beads I could have used for the earrings, for example. I also thought it might be interesting to add white eyelet fabric to represent her shirt.

In the end I repressed the mixed media urge and decided to challenge myself to keep it all embroidery. I found it really fun to try to figure out how to represent pearl and lace using just embroidery stitches.

The earrings don’t exactly look like pearl but they still look interesting. I may add some shiny gold thread to represent the clasp.

The earrings don’t exactly look like pearl but they still look interesting. I may add some shiny gold thread to represent the clasp.

The hair drove me nuts but in the end, I really LOVED how it came out.

The hair drove me nuts but in the end, I really LOVED how it came out.

To represent the lacy shirt I found a few elements to start with (the flower shapes) and then added some trellis like stitches in between and some shadows as well. Still working on it.

To represent the lacy shirt I found a few elements to start with (the flower shapes) and then added some trellis like stitches in between and some shadows as well. Still working on it.

Overall I like her so far. I could just stop here but I think her shirt needs a little more.  Well, thanks for following along on the journey! With each new piece I learn a few things and it also creates so many more ideas to try which I hope does the same for you in your journey.  I am dying to try embroidering on black! This piece had also made me want to try embroidering a giant piece of sparkling jewelry, just to see if I can……..maybe a string of pearls????  Hope you all are enjoying the last few days of summery weather (for those still are) and gently tip-toeing into fall.  Warmly,  Pam

Overall I like her so far. I could just stop here but I think her shirt needs a little more.

Well, thanks for following along on the journey! With each new piece I learn a few things and it also creates so many more ideas to try which I hope does the same for you in your journey.

I am dying to try embroidering on black! This piece had also made me want to try embroidering a giant piece of sparkling jewelry, just to see if I can……..maybe a string of pearls????

Hope you all are enjoying the last few days of summery weather (for those still are) and gently tip-toeing into fall.

Warmly,

Pam

My final progress thus far! Shirt is almost complete:)

My final progress thus far! Shirt is almost complete:)