Colour Schemes Explained

Hello everyone

One of our readers questioned how the colour scheme worked, in other words are you supposed to trace the rose outline and use the colours to stitch it?  Well you are welcome to do this but that is not the intention behind the scheme.  Actually my husband asked me the same question!  Let me explain how these schemes are to be used to avoid any confusion.

Firstly I could not possibly stitch up every picture for a colour scheme I would be sitting in my chair for the next 20 years, grinding my gums and muttering to myself ………………….!!

The subject of schemes are explained fully in my book COLOUR CONFIDENCE IN EMBROIDERY, where there are numerous similar colour palettes put together.   The picture, i.e. the rosebud is purely an inspirational photo from which we get our thread colours.  When faced with a blank canvas or more correctly a design outline we need to choose the colours to stitch the project – this can be daunting, so where do we start?  We start by finding a picture, textile, piece of stationary etc that has colours that we like or that inspire the piece we are about to stitch.  Then we match up the nearest colours in skeins of thread.

It is similar to choosing a colour palette for our bedroom or lounge.  The schemes I provide take the guesswork out of the choosing – they are often inspired by nature and most often include complementary shades of colour.  I do realise that many of you probably prefer to purchase your embroidery kit style where the colours are included but there are many of us who may want to create our own individual embroidery piece.  For example you have a lovely crewel design outline traced onto the fabric – but don’t know which colours to use or you have a stumpwork design that you have already stitched but want to re-create it in different colours.

When stitching a needle painting picture we most often copy the colours that we see in the picture we are going to reproduce, but often make the mistake of choosing the wrong shades of colour.   This is where a scheme can be useful as you can adapt the scheme to fit aspects of your picture and be confident that you have chosen the right shades.

Hope this is all clear.  Have a wonderful weekend wherever you are.  Trish

5 thoughts on “Colour Schemes Explained”

  1. I went to the San Diego Zoo yesterday and have been inspired to sketch my own thread painting bird design…this way I get my own souviner. 🙂 am off to look up a Paradise Tanager on Google images for inspiration. That will give me an interesting color combo. What fun…!

  2. Aw… had an idea. 🙂 I can take a photo I want to sketch from, turn it into black and white on one of my photo programs, draw in my basic outline on the cloth and then use any color combo I want from your book by matching the darkest color in the photo to the darkest color of the thread palette and then the next darkest color in the photo to the next darkest thread color in the palette. That should work for using with any photo. One could also combine areas of similiar darkness on the photo into one color or separate them into multiple colors for greater or lesser detail. How does this sound?
    I haven’t read Trish’s color combo book yet, (although I have it) I just skimmed thru it, so hope I am not suggesting something that is already in the book.

  3. Mmm…that’s certainly good for thought. I had it a bit ‘wrong’ and am very glad of your explanation today. It gives the colour schemes a much broader scope, releasing the restrictions I would have put on them. Thank you.

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