The necessity of colour.

I’ve been thinking for quite a long time now that I need more colour in my work, more bold exciting colour, in large in -your- face blocks of no excuses colour.

I’ve just got back into work after a few weeks of house sorting and slow motion decorating [ dodgy back ] and now that many jobs have been ticked off that have been sitting on me for ages, I decided it was time to get the colour thing off the ground.

I’m thinking in terms of needlepoint more and more at the moment; it is very satisfying, and fun, albeit, like the decorating above, also slow-mo. I also have a new mixed media project in mind, but I bet it will include some needlepoint too. I love a new medium, it really gets the enthusiasm burning.

Designing for needlepoint is, for me, very different to designing for mixed media. If I want to start a new piece of mixed media work, I look through sketchbooks, make a couple of new drawings, followed by a working sketch, and get out an amount of materials, usually fabrics and papers, which I try out, choosing and editing as I construct the piece.

With needlepoint I seem to work best, so far, if I make a collage of the piece beforehand. This sorts out colour, detail, and the broader areas of the piece. When I transfer it onto the canvas, I naturally don’t mind a little deviation if necessary, and I may alter the design when stitching, if interesting things start to happen, and if more subtle detail needs to be added in large monochromatic areas.

As you will see, I can’t quite ditch my old standbys black and white. I think they will always be too useful, to set off colours, and add definition too.


I wanted to use this design in the piece, along with the bright pink and lime green that have been in my head for a couple of weeks. This is a screen print I made from a drawing on a course a few weeks ago.


I had some painted papers which I played around with initially, to give me an idea of what I wanted. I eliminated most of the detail and went for blocks of colour.


I then painted a piece of paper with acrylics. This was the same size as the canvas I wanted to use, 50 x 50 cm.


Part of the painted background and the painted papers [ altered to make them more useful ] which I then used as collage materials, see below.


Below, the finished collaged design, ready to be transferred onto canvas, and to be used as a colour guide.


I’ll post it when it’s finished. This may take some time…

12 thoughts on “The necessity of colour.

  1. wowser freddy – that is so exciting … these needlepoints of yours are going to be stunning. How is the other one progressing? – dying to see xxxx

  2. Haha don’t ask Edmundo! No, it’s going along quite well now I’ve done all the house stuff. It’s a slow thing for an impatient person. I love it but I am experimenting with some bigger stitches too, of course… xxxx

  3. Gosh, that is a burst of colour Steph. Unusual to read that you’re working in ‘slow mo’ as I often comment on the speed at which you tackle everything- bish bash bosh and there it is, finished and let’s move on! So, I’m intrigued by the change of pace and shall await the reveals on a drip feed basis.

    1. There’s only so fast you can go with needlepoint Lesley, it imposes speed restrictions! This is a mixed blessing for me, as you can imagine. I’ll do a weekly drip feed, which will shame me into working harder. Nothing will be incomplete, you read it here!

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