Head of Ankhsenpaaten – progress



There is relatively little to say about Ankhsenpaaten, because the form will be created with loads of seed stitches in slightly different shades of silk thread, so there will simply be more of the same.

However, you may find it interesting to watch it come into focus, so I will post a series of pictures, along with what comments I feel I can make.

Do click on the pictures for a closer view, and a better sense of what is happening.

Eye Socket

Eye Socket

You can see from the earlier post that I only transferred the most basic of outlines, so I am using the photograph as my reference and working the various shades over one another to develop the layers of colour and shade.

I have started by trying to understand the most basic  planes of the face and the shades needed to bring them alive.

Complete First Layer

Complete First Layer

I tend to find it much easier to get my bearings if I can get some of the darker areas in, because that gives me the beginnings of a sense of depth and form. It is, however, a slightly terrifying approach, because there’s something so very definite about a truly Dark dark!

One of the shades of silk is very close to the fabric, but there is just enough difference that the light bouncing off it creates a sense of difference between inside the lines and outside the lines.


  1. Jen Mullen says:

    Such an intriguing way to develop depth! It is pointillism in fabric!

  2. Intriguing and I can imagine terrifying! Looks good, though.

  3. Meredithe says:

    Very clever! Amazing what “shading” can do – similar to watching a portrait taking place in pencil, but you’re using thread!!

  4. Susan says:

    I liked seeing the three progress pictures. I can imagine the dark part would be a little scary, and you’d have to stand back or hold it at arm’s length every few stitches. It looks definitive and your work is excellent, as always.

  5. Terrie says:

    How amazing you can do the shades of stitches to show such detailed portrait.

  6. Alex Hall says:

    I love the way it appears to be gradually coming into focus and the seeding stitches work really well, giving the perfect amount of shading and texture without standing out as stitches in their own right.

  7. Lin Tarrant says:

    Such a beautiful piece Rachel – I am full of admiration for your courage! xx

  8. Great shading!

  9. Sue Jones says:

    It is coming along very well. There may not be much to say, but it’s fascinating to watch things growing. Tell us about the silk you are using, and let us see the colours, too. Always a pleasure to drool over photos of luscious threads!

  10. Catherine says:

    Such a clever way to shade and give your sense of texture that you are after as well. It is incredibly effective and is coming along very nicely!

  11. sheryl says:

    I really enjoy watching how your projects gradually come to life. It must be difficult doing the stitching with the silks varying so little in tone and I suppose you have to look from arm´s length to appreciate the shades while working , difficult.

  12. Lady Fi says:

    Really nice!

  13. Your stitching is creating great depth. I would not be able to attempt something like this without a lot of guidance!