Last year we had the pleasure of working on two private commissions for two wonderful clients both in our painterly style. The first commission was for Chloe Douglas of the Plenty of Colour blog. If you haven't already visited Chloe's blog, you definitely should! It's a beautifully curated blog on all things colour.
We've had the honour of being featured on the blog a few times (here and here) when we first started working as embroidery illustrators full time. That early support was invaluable and something we'll always be grateful for. So when Chloe asked if we could create a piece for her we jumped at the chance. The brief was a dream to work on. The only requirements was something abstract in our brushed style. With colour being such a key aspect of Chloe's work and interests there was a bit of nervousness on our part to create something worthy. Chloe create special pinterest boards with the colours she liked and some brushwork references, which we distilled into the mood boards to send back to make sure we were on the right track and to help focus in on a direction for colour and composition.
The brushed graphic was developed with a mixture of paints and ink as individual elements. We then edited the composition and colours in photoshop. You can see some of our process and wip photos below and a comparison between the digital mock up and final embroidered artwork.
The second project was commissioned by a wife to give to her husband for the couple's fourth wedding anniversary. Traditionally linen is given for this anniversary so the piece was worked on some lovely linen we had left over from a previous project.
The clients followed our work through Instagram so I thought it would be lovely to develop the colours for their piece based on their two Instagram feeds. I chose photographs they had taken with palettes that I was instinctively drawn to and presented them as a combined palette.
The lettering was drawn in ink using a variety of brushes and even a broken wooden paddle pop stick to get range of text styles. The colours were later applied in photoshop. We jump between doing this step in actual paint or digitally in photoshop. These days you can get quite nice paint brushes for photoshop that have a nice level of texture, so the main difference for us is usually timing - how long we have been given for this coloured mock up stage.
Although we want this last preview to be as detailed as possible because it needs to match the final embroidery, it is only a mock up, and we'd prefer to spend the time on the actual embroidery rather than use that time to paint colour accurate mock ups without the efficiency of a undo button if we make a mistake with the paint.