My Chinese Paradise Flycatcher posted on December 11 2014 in Chinese Embroidery


A few months ago, after approximately forever, I finally finished the motifs on this embroidery frame, and thought it would be fun to share with you the different stages of this project! 


Originally, my Chinese embroidery teacher, Pearl, suggested that I attempt to do the following watercolor painting from a book of paintings by her late colleague who spent her career creating artwork exclusively for embroidery.  


However, before I actually started on the real piece, which I have already outlined on white silk taffeta, Pearl thought it would be best if I practiced the motifs first on another piece of fabric.  So I first completed the little bird sitting on the magnolia branch,


And then moved above to the red maple leaves, which at times seemed endless


And finally started on the paradise flycatcher to the left.  


To me, the most challenging part of the paradise flycatcher was its elongated tail feathers. I was trying to convey the lushness of the tail feathers but at the same time preserve a sense of lightness lest the feathers appear stuck, or glued, together.  I also redid a few times the feather stalks, as it was harder than I thought to do a line with some curvature that appeared also straight and even. 

Here is a picture of a real paradise flycatcher.  One thing I noticed is that it seems like the tail feather of a real paradise catcher is stiffer than what the painting would lead one to believe...

Here's another close up of the bird.  In general I was happy with it.

Here's a picture of another real paradise flycatcher that I thought roughly had the pose and coloring of my bird above.  Maybe next time I should put in the little whiskers around the beak. 

A Final Pic :) 


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