I started some stacked houses in my sketchbook a while back but I never followed up on them. So recently as I thought about what to create, I decided to go back to those sketches and start from there. In this post, I’m going to show you the process I went through in creating my newest piece – Stacked Houses #1.
Here’s the original sketch I started with.
As you can see, it’s not much of a sketch. It was just an initial idea, that I planned on investigating later. That’s why I often say that just start with whatever you’ve got, don’t wait to have it all figured out before you do.
Later, I tweaked it a little bit more to get this:
It’s still not much. But it was all I needed to get started. Usually, I’ll shade this in my sketchbook to get a sense of where to place values, but I didn’t do that here.
I traced it onto a white backing fabric with a heat erasable marker.
And then I stitched over the tracing with my sewing machine to get this.
The white fabric is not the fabric I want to work on. I traced and stitched on this fabric because it’s white and easier to see my traced and stitched lines.
I flipped over my sandwich to get this reflected image:
As you can see from the progression, I went back and forth toying with the idea of windows, but I didn’t commit to them long enough to stitch them into my tracing. I’ll come back to the topic of windows later.
Now I was all set to start stitching/shading. Since I hadn’t investigated shading values in my sketchbook, from here on everything is improvisational. I had no pre-planned course of action.
After the first couple of stitches, here’s what I got:
Then a little more progress:
And finally, by varying thread colors, stitch direction, stitch distance and stitch thickness I finished it.
As you can see, I revisited the windows and added them to my final drawing. I wasn’t exactly happy about their height, though. I think they may have been a little too high. But I’m very pleased with the contrast they added to the drawing, in that they are different in function and in execution – line drawings vs shaded drawings.
I created a demo video for you to see how I worked on this piece. Enjoy and share!!!
All in all, I’m happy I explored this idea of stacked houses and followed my vision to create this piece. This is what I visualized in my mind when I started “Stitch the Sketch“.
Several years ago as a child, these were the type of drawings I saw at my local art center. At the time, I thought only special people- naturally gifted and talented people, could come up with such sketches. Fast forward to today and I can do this, not just in pencil but in a medium I had no knowledge of when I was a little girl.
I feel truly blessed to be able to create art.