Sunday, July 18, 2010

It's a draw

Want to do your own needlepoint design, but you’ve never drawn a thing in your life, and you’re too scared even to try? Having managed to get over the fear of the blank page, you took the plunge, but your untrained hand and eye are too inexpert to get even close to what you have in mind? Using...More......a simple (and often freely pre-loaded) graphics program, such as Microsoft’s “Paint,” could help liberate you. If you aren’t able to do even simple geometric shapes—necessary for giving your design solid believable structure and proportions and for setting it convincingly in space—using just such a program is a must. If you have a bit of familiarity with using menu-driven programs, then you’ll have no trouble learning how to use Paint…just play a bit at first, and learn while playing.

When I do designs freehand, even when inspired by images in other books, I, too, establish the principal forms using geometric shapes, first, as you can see in this after-the-fact mock-up. My original design for the lion, featured in the “composite” design and inspired by that marvelous E. Bradley book on Victorian needlepoint, was done long ago, and I didn’t save the first version with the geometric shapes.

This image was created using a washed-out image of the gridded StitchPainter image, so you can see how the geometric shapes relate to the final design, as featured in my blog post of July 11, 2010 (

Do the initial geometric shapes in a bright easily visible color that will not be a part of your final design. It will make it easier to distinguish the initial geometric shapes from your desired shapes (and replace them, bit by bit, with the desired colors), as you elaborate the drawing.

Once the drawing is done, you can print it out, and trace the design directly onto your canvas (see my post: “Designing: transforming your photos into a needlepoint design…start simply!,” dated July 4, 2010). If you need to import it into your needlepoint gridding program, that’s stuff for another blog post.

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