The grounds around the castle
In her book, Tanya suggested using a slightly thicker thread for the ground (that is, more strands in the needle), to help it look a bit more uneven without interfereing with the glorious light effects of silk. I decided to vary the different colours as well, to help with that effect. This is the mid tone, although the “dark” isn’t so much dark as a different tint – that’s because I bought it online, and when I started stitching with it, it wasn’t quite the colour I thought it would be.
That said, I think it has turned out very well indeed. I enjoyed trying to keep the curves curving the way they needed to, varying the way each colour filled the allotted space, changing the way the lines flowed. It somehow does manage to look a little like an illustration in a book of fairy tales, partly because of the lines of colour, partly, I think, because the lightest of the greens is very much in that vein.
Not an Arthur Rackham illustration, obviously!
I love the way the grass has made the horse look much crisper, as though he’s conscious that this is An Occasion, and he’s putting his best foot forward.
But I do keep looking at him very panicked, to make sure that he’s not going to fall over. I once did a painting of an elephant, and it was only afterwards that I realised that the poor beast would have overbalanced and landed on his side with a rib-crushing Thump! if what I had painted had been accurate observation…