CLEAN or SEW.
That's a no-brainer!
Start with a sized picture. This one was from the internet. It was a painting as opposed to a photo. I choose this one because the feathers were well defined. I want to feature the back as that's where the interesting patterns are.
A black line tracing on a stabilizer.
This is a scrap so it isn't going to be secure as is, in the hoop.
He's significantly larger than the chickadee so I need to change hoops and because there is so little for the hoop to grip I placed the drawing on two other pieces arranged in a cross. Once I begin stitching the cartoon is supported in both directions.
All the colouring I did was black, grey and two different blues.
The colouring doesn't need to be perfect as its only a guide.
I started stitching with the black. There is not a lot on the body of the bird, but almost every feather is outlined in black. I stitched almost every line several times so I wouldn't loose them into the other colours.
The second colour was white. The belly on the left is stitched with two different whites.The remaining white will be a third shade. The stitching is is not complete on the head, tail or wing tips.
The first blue was the one I chose to be the predominate colour. It's important to pay attention to the direction the stitches are laid down as well as the length of the stitch.
Longer means more texture and colour.
All of the main blue is applied.
A darker blue is stitched down the left side.
This is shadow.
Back to the white to finish the head, wings and tail. A few small patches on the head are enlarged.
At this point the beak and eye are finished with a grey.
A third lighter blue is added to the top of the shoulders.
The stitches show direction of feathers as well as colour shifts.
So while the bird is complete I have a problem with the background. This is to be a companion piece to a Cardinal I stitched back in 2012. I do not have any more of that material and have been unable to date to find anything near it. I'll have to hunt some more.
5:00 PM - Well I think I've solved my background issue. I found and ordered two yards of a winter scene from Hancock's of Paduca. It does have some tiny deer in in but its closer to the original than anything I've seen for awhile. I seldom order that LITTLE from the States but with the shipping etc it was still under $10 /yd.
That's not too bad...........when you're over a barrel!