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I find red one of the most difficult colours to work with, and tend to add it into a piece of work to provide richness, splashes of colours, and to represent flowers such as poppies without trying to “copy” a flower. In this post you will see some of the landscape that has inspired me, and I explain some more stitch techniques. Sizes given are always for the actual embroidery and dont include mounts, or framing.

This poppy field in France was the start of what became a gentle obsession, looking for glimpses of scarlet amongst the corn, grasses and wheat in France, England and Italy. This post looks at French and English imagery


I made a series of works where I used photos to jog my memory, and then drew directly onto my base canvas having put the photos away. The following piece is one that I felt worked well. I used cable stitch from the reverse side for much of the work (explained in my last post, From Drawings to a Stitched Landscape) and then put a heavy red woollen Burmilana/lana no 12 in the bobbin, loosened the bobbin case screw horribly(!) tightened my top thread, a normal no 30, and stitching on  the correct side of the canvas the top thread whipped the red thread through. If you try this be prepared to scream and shout a lot as threads do sometimes break! Its called “Glimpses of Scarlet and Gold” 21 x 28cm approx and was based on fields on France.


In the first smaller piece the red contrasts with the softer colours of cornfields as this is from my local landscape, The South Downs 14cm x 18cm approx embroidery size. The second one is smaller still, 10cm x 13cm, and is called “Poppies Ablaze”. Here I went back to cable stitch couching the heavy red from the back, then turning to the front and wandering across the red freely with greens and golds to get a feel of intensity broken by line



In my next post I’ll look at reds used in other landscapes from Italy and Spain and a private commission where “red” was requested!