I am having a tough time weaving the face of my mother in this latest tapestry. A face is a difficult thing to weave since each part individually looks odd...but together they form something quite nice. You have to trust your cartoon when weaving the individual shadings of the face. They look odd but in the end they should turn out fine.
The other issue is color. I am weaving a face which is essentially a line drawing portrait on a sea foam colored paper. Let me tell you, there is nothing like seeing your mother staring back at you all in green!
I also could have simply used one shade of sea foam through out - just like a colored piece of paper. But no...I wanted to have the gradations in the color similar to the back ground in the Van Gogh painting that is the inspiration for this piece.
The real issues began to emerge with the neck. I wove the neck four or five times. It is now acceptable. It took awhile to get the right shades of sea foam to use in the various spots. I finally decided on four shades of sea foam for the various shadings in the neck and face. And created a shading cartoon to remind me what to use where.
The next issue was the lips. I couldn't get the lips right weaving from the back. I tried several times and wogged it out [the weaving rendition of frogging] each time. I finally decided I would have to do it from the front so I could actually see the lips being formed. After a couple of wogs the lips were acceptable with the caveat I would add some teeth detail with a needle later when I could see the complete face.
Next I moved up the face with the cheeks and nose. I was weaving from the front and realized I was not doing the shading correctly since I was looking a my shading cartoon but it was in reverse to the face from the front. So, I then had to re-create the cartoon, making a mirror image of it. That took a bit of time but once completed I was off again.
I did notice the weaving from the front was not as 'nice' as the weaving from the back. And it is near impossible to do a good dot without turning the loom around and doing it from the back. So now, when I can I am weaving from the back...and when I have to get the design absolutely right and I can't do it from the back - I do it from the front. This means I have a cartoon attached to both sides of the tapestry and raise it up to see the detail before inserting the weft.
Check out the photo -