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Embroidered Book Cover - The Colour of a Green

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15 January 2008

Embroidered Book Cover - The Colour of a Green


I've reworked the bodies of the carnations. The middle green I used was more of a blue green that a yellow green and it was bothering me!

When I talk about yellow-greens as opposed to blue-greens I'm talking about the version of colour theory that I work to, as explained briefly in

http://www.wetcanvas.com/ArtSchool/Color/ColorMixing_Lee/index.html

(although I was taught not to believe in a 'true' red - only orange-reds or blue-reds - every sort of red leans to either the orange or the blue sides of the colour wheel).

The book, "Blue and Yellow Don't Make Green" by Michael Wilcox was my teacher. It's a painter's book, but the introduction explains the theory.

The short version is that if you mix a yellow-green and a blue-green together, you're going to end up with mud (brown) colour (I'll skip the reflected light particle part of the explanation).

We're talking physically mixing paint here, but the embroiderer does the same thing *visually* on the embroidery canvas. Painters also visually mix colours on a canvas by placing them closely together. It's an eye-perception thing.

However, if you mix two different blue-greens, you end up with another blue-green. Or two yellow-greens, you end up with a different yellow-green. You can change that colour further using it's complement on the colour wheel, white, or an appropriate grey (not black - that just kills the colour).

This is why outlining of an embroidered might be suggested to be in Prussian blue, or in a darkest grey, rather than always black like you might expect. Black does have it's place as a strong outlining colour, but it is very harsh and needs to be used very sparingly.

http://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/color16.html

explains this all in more details, although I think Michael Wilcox's explanation is a bit simpler!

Anyway the difference between the two mid-greens (the blue-green one and the yellow-green one) is barely perceptible when laid side by side, but came out when placed next to the strong yellow greens of the olive of the rest of the carnations' bodies.

Phew!

So, I've oversewn the bodies.

I've also finished the French knot strawberry, the small lilly, and a few small leaves.

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