Today I’m sharing my working process of my experimental white on black stitched portrait of Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins). I’d no idea if this would work out or not so I decided to map my progress on instagram, and log the hours worked. I’m bad at keeping track of time when I’m stitching and subsequently I underestimate just how long these embroidery portraits take. (Confession: I did lose track of this one in the end- but I guess I wrapped up at around the 25 hr mark after some re-shading).
I made this animated gif of my progress (above) but you can visit the still images on flickr here.
Sometimes I get the urge to stitch on black, it’s a very different starting place for embroidery. I wanted to challenge myself by working white on black (using white as the solid stitched area). White (on black) doesn’t work for shading, it has to be used as the highlight. So it’s like stitching a negative image to the way I would usually work. I used various shades of white, coupled with directional stitching to add dimension. Still, I’d never done this before and It was entirely possible this project wouldn’t work out as I’d hoped.
I’ll share the finished portrait (all framed up) in a follow-up soon, along with a bit more on why I wanted to make this piece. (It was quite personal). In the mean time here’s a last look at the completed black and white embroidery portrait of Corgan in the hoop – sunlight glittering through the needle holes.
Have you been following the progress of #billybeforebedtime on my flickr or instagram feeds? What do you think of how it turned out? Have you ever stitched white on black before? How did it work out for you? Tell me about it in the comments.