Last week, I finished the flowers on the Secret Garden embroidery project – finally!
Two feelings welled up inside me upon completion of the flowers: 1. that sense of elation you feel when you’ve finally plowed through to a seemingly elusive goal; 2. that sense of trepidation at what comes next!
And what does come next on this particular embroidery project?
The Birds, of course. But there’s a part of me that keeps wanting to put them off.
I could go in and stitch some veins on all the large leaves.
I could add some embellishing dots along the vines, like the dots along the vines in the original design.
I could pick out a few little areas that I’m not 100% sold on, and re-stitch them.
I could do all those things.
But … the birds! I must tackle the birds!
The Color Conflict
Why the hesitation? Because I’m having a color kerfuffle. A conflict, of sorts.
Throughout this project, I’ve been inundated with emails, with photos on social media, with links to hundreds of hummingbird photos and images online, from real hummingbirds to the most fantastic stylized renditions of hummingbirds, all from well-meaning souls who wish to help me along the way when it comes to choosing colors for the birds.
An overwhelming number of the images I’ve seen and saved over the past many months involve colors that I wouldn’t normally think about using.
Among those are bright (what I call “electric”) blues, turquoise-greeny blues, and tropical ocean greeny-blues.
So I threw some of those shades onto the project thus far.
Especially when it comes to the other greens already in the piece, when I see these new colors on top, the word Conflict comes to mind.
On the other hand, if these types of colors dominated the birds, the birds would certainly stand out.
Stylized vs. Realistic
So, I thought I’d throw the color question out to you! What colors do you envision for these flittering hummingbirds? Do you see bold, bright, aggressive colors? Tropical, “hot” colors? Majestic jewel tones? What do you imagine on hummingbirds?
When pondering the question, please keep in mind that the whole image is stylized, so the birds do not need to look realistic. They can look completely unreal, fantastical, made up. Or, they can fall somewhere in the middle – stylized, yet within reason.
What they can’t look like is completely realistic. The design itself precludes that. Take the tail feathers, for example – hummingbirds don’t have long tail feathers. The designs on the head, the shaped neckband, the scalloped layering on the chest, the layered wings – you won’t see these on real hummingbirds.
What’s Your Take?
So, with that in mind, what’s your take on a color scheme for the birds? Do you expect to see something vivid and bold? Something subdued and moderately realistic? Do you expect the colors to meld right in with the surrounding greenery and flowers? Do you think the birds should stand out aggressively from their setting?
So there you go. I’m opening the color question up to you, because I’d love to hear how you would approach the color on the hummingbirds. If you have any thoughts on the subject, please share them below. I’m eager to hear what everyone has to say on the color question. Inquiring minds want to know!