Each embroidered art begins with a template, a sketch, prepared by the artist. The template can be anything from a simple pencil sketch to a complete oil painting which the painter would like to reinvent.
The most important part of creating an embroidered piece of art is the initial planning. We carefully examine several paintings of the artist to get familiar with his personal, unique style. The artist provides an important insight into the methods and techniques used in his paintings, and often we utilise the same procedures as the artist would, to get a specific desired effect.
In the starting phase of the artistic process, we prepare several studies based on our observations and the information the artist provides us about his techniques and style. We take small frames of the artwork and try to find the right combination of thread colours and embroidery techniques. The studies are portions of the final artwork which allow us to test every aspect of the final embroidery before starting the production of the embroidered painting. The artist inspects the studies and gives his opinion on the embroidery techniques and colours and how these match his own vision. Usually, several adjustments are necessary before the artist and the creative team are satisfied with the results.
At this point, the embroidery artists begin the careful and precise work of transforming the entire sketch into an embroidered piece of art, with the artist giving his constant input on specific details he wishes to emphasize, or techniques he wishes to see in the artwork.
The final embroidery can take several thousand hours of work – depending on the size of the artwork, the number of details that need to be created, and the number of colours that are used during embroidery.
The experienced embroidery artists are charged with every last detail of the embroidery – colour blending, shading, overlapping, textures and effects that certain techniques bring, and combining all these aspects to create the smallest details of the motif. Designing an embroidery is very similar to illustrating or creating vector art, but an embroidery artist must also take into account stitch densities, stitch directions and other embroidery-specific parameters, and has to also have an understanding of painter techniques.
During the entire process, the artist acts as a supervisor – his vision is coming to life, and a lot of times he decides on changes at the spot – seeing a specific detail in the context of the whole is a different experience than designing the art on paper, or even seeing the detail in a cropped embroidery sample.
Even after the final embroidery is finished, the artwork is reviewed and scrutinised, correctures are done, until every part of the picture is perfect.
When the canvas is stretched over a frame, the embroidered picture becomes a true piece of art. With proper lighting, the hanged artwork becomes a living painting, changing as the viewer moves – light bounces off the three-dimensional threads, and the effect is different from a different point of view.