Adding more detail..

Detail of the central section of the View of the Excavation, showing fine outlines on the right hand side of the figures

I started by tacking a shadow line along the edge of the Gufti with the staff, decided that it did indeed help, took out the tacking stitches, and started adding very fine stem stitch shadows in single strands of cotton or silk along the right hand sides of the figures.

I used different shades , and different levels of detail – I want the archaeologist in his pith helmet to remain only semi visible. He’s clearly consulting with the Gufti, but he’s not the focus of the flurry, he’s part of the pattern.

Middle distance figures, slightly crisper with the addition of the shadow

The middle distance figures gave me a little trouble, as the colours seemed a more emphatic, close to, than I remembered.

I’m looking across the room at them now, however, and they have settled back into place, just the slight thickening and darkening at the edge helping to make sense of the pattern that’s developing. Even the slightly darker basket, which I had doubts about when I’d stitched it, doesn’t unbalance the whole view.

Foreground of the View of the Excavation, crisper with shadow lines

In this bit of foreground, you can see that I have been varying the amount of detail I shadow. Some of these figures may get a little more detail, to bring them forward even more.

I’m even wondering about putting a shadow on the edge of the creamy white veil the foremost figure is wearing.


  1. Sue Jones says:

    Oh, that is bringing those “cut-out” figures to life wonderfully. They now have just enough depth to take their places in the view without spoiling the feeling of a busy, general view. So much more to look at and engage the brain. You must be very happy with them now.

  2. I agree with Sue Jones – the figures are so much clearer now and very pleasant to look at. It’s amazing how a thin line of stitches can make such an impact.

  3. Jillayne says:

    Love the shadow lines – you have got the subtlety of them down perfectly. It’s often surprising to me how simple details such as that change everything . I have loved watching this work develop.

  4. Alex Hall says:

    It’s working really well and I take my hat off to you – I wouldn’t have a clue where to star with shadows or highlights, but you seem to be adding them so intuitively. I wonder if your painting helps?

  5. Your shadows are really successful, and an education in the art of adapting as you go rather than thinking “well that’s finished” and moving swiftly on to avoid having to think a bit more! I think shadow at the edge of the pale veil would be a good thing, though not too dark, and you can always take it out if it doesn’t work. This is looking marvelous. Also, despite comments to the contrary on your previous post (including mine), every time I see those two bits of stitching with the map to the left and the dig to the right, they feel in their proper places, so I eat my words 🙂

  6. Lins Doodles says:

    Wow, lovely details.

  7. Carolyn Foley says:

    That addition of shadows has made a big difference, it even adds movement to the piece.