This week on the Art Impressions blog, our Watercolour Weekend theme is "Try Something New". I've been wanting to combine stitching with my watercolour scenes for a long time, and this week's theme meant that it was time to give it a shot! This took a little bit of planning:
I wanted the stitching to simply be an accent, not be all throughout the scene, so once I decided on a sunrise, I sketched it out on scrap paper, marking out the size of rectangular die I would use. I picked my cottage, stamping it on the scrap to determine placement, where the stream would be, and even how the sun rays would look.
I diecut my 5063 A2 Rectangle Double Stitched Die from Canson XL Watercolor Paper, and stamped my cottage from 4961 - WC Mini Cottages Set, colouring it first in #969 Chocolate, with #565 Deep Blue overtop. Next I sketched in my scene (you could definitely do this with one of the Ai scenes, but I used a pencil!). I painted the sun and some of the sky with #993 Chrome Orange, adding several layers to darken the sun. I added in #912 Pale Cherry and #451 Sky Blue to create my sunrise sky. Since the light is coming from the back of my scene, I painted #993 along the top of the hillsides, around the edge of the house, and into the stream as a reflection. It also meant that the front of the white cottage was in shadow, so I added shades of #565 to show that, and painted it into the stream also. Using my stamp positioner, I stamped the tree from 5010 - WC Tree Set 1 beside the cottage, and did two smaller trees from 5372 - WC Mini Foliage to the left of the stream.
I did my foliage in layers, starting with the very light #126 Light Olive, using the foliage from 5372 - WC Mini Foliage, and the row of shrubs from the same set, below the trees - and dabbed them with a damp brush. I stamped the foliage again in #158 Dark Olive, to add a few darker tones. A wash of #158 was painted on all the grassy hillsides. To balance the sun in the upper left, I stamped the spiky flowers from 5258 - WC Flower Set 4 in #993/#158, and added some foliage around the base of them. Before darkening in the door and windows of the cottage, I went in directly with my markers to add some dots as flowers in window boxes.
For the stitching, I used a very fine hand sewing needle, as my thread was a very fine gold fillament. I used my needle to pre-pierce all of the holes around the sun, and then did my long stitches to indicate the rays. I went over the small flowers with stitches, and on the taller wildflowers I did some french knots - and I'm pleased to say that I only had one re-do! My embroidery skills are a little rusty.
I mounted my scene on some matte gold cardstock, and adhered it to my base with 3D foam adhesive.