Some years ago we had a talk at the Embroiderers Guild (unfortunately I can't remember the name of the speaker) which changed my way of looking at portraits. Until that time it had never occurred to me how lovingly the artists had re created the fabrics. Lace, satin, velvet and jewels and more mundane materials were recreated by the artists brush. Since then I have been facscinated by how little dabs of white and grey paint can be a piece of lace or rare pearls. Living near London I am very fortunate, as I have remarked before, to have some wonderful art galleries which are free to pop in and wonder. A little while ago I visited the National Portait Gallery and with my new (Sharon inspired!!) notebook I looked at a postrait I had seen before but this time I tried to capture some of the detail. This is a full size portait of Catherine Parr (the wife who survived Henry VIII) Unfortunately this is a very small image, The detail which fascinated me was the band across the neck of the dress. This is my sketch.(I never said I could draw!)
The thing I couldn't work our was how the circles were made, be carefully looking at the direction of the painted impression of the couching stitches I worked out how the thread must have been laid and this is my impression of a detail of that band.
I used little fly stitches to couch a plaited gold thread.
By the way this is on a piece of duster which I painted and stencilled.