Luis Royo's 'Uranos Drops'. Finished 13 Oct 2014

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Luis Royo's 'Uranos Drops'. Finished 13 Oct 2014

by richardandtracy » Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:30 am

Luis Royo is one of my favourite fantasy artists, and 'Uranos Drops' is one of my favourite pictures of his, showing the face and upper torso of a fantasy female warrior. So, when I heard that a 1:4 scale (probably) statue of the image was going to be made by Yamato Toys (USA) (http://www.yamatotoysusa.com/) I was rather pleased. Right up to the point when I saw how much they ask for statues that big.. (Around US$350!!).

I also noticed that Luis Royo also prepared an extra sketch to help the modellers envisage a full figure, which struck me as clean, beautiful and eminently stitchable. So after attempting to contact the artist to ask his permission to stitch it, and receiving a Spanish reply which I didn't fully understand but I'm left with the feeling it gives me permission (and, NO, I do not wish to be put right if I'm incorrect!), I have started on a new project. This is the original picture:
Image

This is a bit of a leap in the dark as I also want to try a few new ideas, having been inspired by this site to go beyond what I normally attempt. So, instead of 14ct Aida, I have 32ct Zweigart Belfast Linen printed with a beige marble design, and am doing 2 over 2. The project is going to be fairly small, at 120W x 300H stitches, with a total of 10367 stitches. I took a photo of the actual fabric and, at roughly the right scale, placed the image used for the chart on it, to make a mockup of the finished picture:
Image

So, as to actual progress.
Ho hum. I'm working on page 3 of the plan (location shown in the plan page index below), at the figure's right hip below the bikini bottom straps:
Image
It is MUCH more difficult to work on this fabric than Aida. I had no idea that it would be such a change in the way it is worked. I have done maybe 140 stitches at about half the speed I usually manage, and the smaller fabric size is quite difficult to see, requiring much better light than I have been used to getting away with. Also, the fabric is much stretchier, thinner and more flexible than Aida - all things I shall have to learn to cope with and compensate for.
The stitches don't yet look much, and maybe when I have a bigger block it'll start to look more interesting, at the moment I'm using DMC Ecru and 648 (Beaver Grey, Light) which don't show a good contrast with the fabric in small numbers (sorry!).
Image

Hope this is of interest.

Regards,

Richard

Edited for tripe writing errors. Also Edited to do away with photobucket hosted photos
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Re: Luis Royo's 'Uranos Drops'

by littleturtlegirl » Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:27 am

You are doing a GREAT job. I too just switched to linen from Aida. I have stitched on something called linen and it was really small, but ok. I then stitched on Zweigart and I hated it. I froged and froged and froged. I am now stitching the Halloween town mystery on evenweave and I enjoy it. I was told in the beginning to do small projects on different linen till you find the one you like. They were right, not all linen is the same. :x

Since you are doing a very large piece for the first time on linen, it is going to go slower as it is something new. Go slow, take your time and be sure to count. They say that your eyes will naturally see the holes, but I am on project number three on linen and I still do not see the holes. I guess it is from year of doing something else.

We are all here for you while you go down this new road. She is going to look beautiful on the fabric. Aida would be too harsh for this piece.

Keep up the great stitching!
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Re: Luis Royo's 'Uranos Drops'

by Allyn » Thu Jul 03, 2014 12:01 pm

Royo (Luis, not Jose, although his stuff is nice, too) is one of my favorite artists. I am so glad to see you doing this, and very happy to see you're having a go at something other than aida. Linen, though it is my favorite fabric for visual appeal, is a bit tougher to work on than an evenweave like lugana or jobelan. She's going to look beautiful, though.


littleturtlegirl wrote:... I have stitched on something called linen and it was really small, but ok. I then stitched on Zweigart and I hated it. I froged and froged and froged. I am now stitching the Halloween town mystery on evenweave and I enjoy it. ....


Zweigart is a brand -- who, I think, invented the weave we call aida over 100 years ago. They make all different kinds of XS fabrics including aida, Belfast and Cashel linens, and lugana. If you stitched on a Zweigart fabric you didn't like, find out what it was so you'll know not to get that again.
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Re: Luis Royo's 'Uranos Drops'

by rcperryls » Thu Jul 03, 2014 12:38 pm

:applesauce: :applesauce: Lovely start on what is going to be a beautiful piece. Switching to linen or an evenweave can be a bit tricky the first time but going slow will help you adjust and help your eyes to refocus. I would think the tricky part is going from 14ct to 32ct even if you are stitching over 2. Have you thought about a magnifier to help you with the stitches? I find that with anything smaller than 18 ct is helped tremendously with my Magnilight. Looking forward to more updates!

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Re: Luis Royo's 'Uranos Drops'

by Lulu22 » Thu Jul 03, 2014 12:49 pm

Lovely design and update, good for you for switching to linen I tried it but I found I didn't enjoy working with it at all my stitches were bulky and uneven, but your stitching looks very neat and even :applesauce:
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Re: Luis Royo's 'Uranos Drops'

by richardandtracy » Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:11 pm

Must admit that, at the moment, it's feeling like hard work to get anywhere, and yesterday evening I unstitched one cross for every two I put in. Part of that was lack of contrast between the threads & fabric, part due to sitting in the wrong place relative to the lights, and partly due to the size & type of the fabric.

I must look at a magnifier, I have a couple of frenzel lenses from overhead projectors (about 12" square, made of acrylic) but their usable distance from the work is only 4-5 inches, which makes it difficult to get hands underneath. Also means I need 5 or 6 hands... [I wonder where I put arm numbers 3-6? I can only find numbers 1 & 2. Hrrumph.] The overhead projector arm lens (from glass) is about 4" in diameter and is rather more sensibly sized, but I've not tried using one yet. Must try it & see.

I'm going to a 'Knit & Natter' at my local library this evening (part of my desire to find inspiration after my previous projects), and I really don't expect to get anything done due to the relatively poor light there. Will be interesting if any of the other cross stitchers I met 2 weeks ago are there again, though. It is a bit embarrassing, I'm only on my 6th project (this one) and they're looking to me for advice. Ladies who have been stitching for 40 years more than I have.. :doh:

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Re: Luis Royo's 'Uranos Drops'

by Ainjel333 » Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:37 pm

Another beauty...I'm stitching on linen for the first time also...it's cashel linen. I like it and it's not as hard to 'see' the squares as it was when I first started it. You've made a great start, looking forward to seeing it progress.
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Re: Luis Royo's 'Uranos Drops'

by Oriettait » Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:49 pm

This is going to be another great project! :applesauce: try to b patient with linen, at first it is hard but you will eventually get used to it. I would also suggest a magnifier with led lights, changed my life ! Or at least my eyes one!
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Re: Luis Royo's 'Uranos Drops'

by NeedleAndFork » Thu Jul 03, 2014 4:26 pm

That's a great start! And to echo everyone else, with a bit of practice you'll be able to see where your stitches should go much easier.

One suggestion - have you considered gridding the fabric? While it is tedious to do, I find that it makes counting go much easier as you have multiple reference points for each stitch. I often find myself finding a spot by saying something like 'three down from the last stitch, one above and 2 to the right of the left corner' .. then finding the 3 down spot and making sure the two other reference points match up. If they don't I know something went wrong and it's a lot easier to fix now than it is later when you've added more stitching and find yourself short a space.
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Re: Luis Royo's 'Uranos Drops'

by littleturtlegirl » Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:24 pm

Allyn wrote:Royo (Luis, not Jose, although his stuff is nice, too) is one of my favorite artists. I am so glad to see you doing this, and very happy to see you're having a go at something other than aida. Linen, though it is my favorite fabric for visual appeal, is a bit tougher to work on than an evenweave like lugana or jobelan. She's going to look beautiful, though.


littleturtlegirl wrote:... I have stitched on something called linen and it was really small, but ok. I then stitched on Zweigart and I hated it. I froged and froged and froged. I am now stitching the Halloween town mystery on evenweave and I enjoy it. ....


Zweigart is a brand -- who, I think, invented the weave we call aida over 100 years ago. They make all different kinds of XS fabrics including aida, Belfast and Cashel linens, and lugana. If you stitched on a Zweigart fabric you didn't like, find out what it was so you'll know not to get that again.


Thank you, I didn't know that it was a brand, I am new to all of this. I went and looked and the first one was 30 count Natural Linen and the one I didn't like was 28 count Zweigart's Summer Khaki Lugana...I am keeping track so I will know in the future. thank you again for clarifying so I will know. :dance:
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Re: Luis Royo's 'Uranos Drops'

by Squirrel » Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:38 pm

WOW Richard that is stunning and unusually beautiful too. :wub: it. Good on you for branching out and I am sure that in time you will get used to this different fabric. I enjoy working on some linens, but definitely am a fan of Lugana and most even weaves.

Looking forward to the next update. :lol:
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Re: Luis Royo's 'Uranos Drops'

by richardandtracy » Fri Jul 04, 2014 9:15 am

Thank you for your comments. I have to confess I don't much enjoy the run of the mill projects found in many magazines, and samplers/that sort of thing seem to be a bit of a waste of time to me. I feel that if you are going to spend a lot of time doing something (and cross stitch is slow), then do something you'll enjoy for years, so fiddling about with a sampler on scrap of fabric to see if you'll like it is just delaying the event that you're really interested in. I love the Lion/Tiger/Leopard pictures that feature so heavily in things like 'The Cross Stitch Collection', but we already have our walls plastered in David Shepherd & Ian Kent prints, and adding more of the same would be a bit bland. So if it can't be the same, how about being very different? That is, in part, one of the reasons for this picture. Sorry, I'm rambling.

NeedleAndFork:
I have considered gridding the fabric. What I have limited myself to at the moment is hemming, centrelines, the outer picture border and every page boundary (77 x 109 stitches). This took two very long days and I have had more than enough of stuff that's going to be picked out anyway. It does, however, explain why I am starting in the middle - it's close to lots of reference lines (just visible in the progress picture above): the centrelines, the vertical page boundary between page 3 & 4 & not too far from the top & bottom page boundaries. I will add more if I need them at some point. Must admit that the only time I ever gridded was when I first started my first project in 2011, and then I did it in light pink (the only colour we never use for anything else) and stitched over it in cream thinking I could remove it later. WRONG. :oops:

Squizzel:
Thanks for your comment. I may be getting used to it. Last night I completed 5 threads (185ish crosses) and by the end of it, working in a biggish block seemed to help locating the positions for the next stitch quite considerably. I changed the lighting too, which meant I was getting enough coming through the fabric to see a needle shadow, but still see enough on the front face.

I hadn't expected the extra wear I'm getting on the threads as they're pulled through due to the smaller size of the holes compared to Aida. Will probably have to reduce the thread length and accept the greater percentage of wastage - the needle length & waste thread length stays the same regardless of whether you start with a 20" thread or a 12" thread, so the percentage wasted goes up.

This is turning into a real learning experience, which is exactly what I was looking for when I discovered this forum. Thankee all.

Regards,

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Re: Luis Royo's 'Uranos Drops'

by kinley626 » Fri Jul 04, 2014 4:41 pm

She is a beauty. I've always admired Royo's warrior women and this looks like a fun project. Looking forward to your updates.
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Re: Luis Royo's 'Uranos Drops'

by richardandtracy » Mon Jul 07, 2014 7:43 am

Hmm. I may be getting the hang of the fabric.
I suppose I can put it down in large part to the Wimbledon Finals over the weekend. Or maybe my eagerness to watch the finals was prompted by wanting an excuse to sit down and stitch, who knows?
So, continuing on page 3 of the plan I now have something recognisable:
Image
Image
The blue cast to the photo seems to be the fact I photographed it in the conservatory this morning, and it's gong to be a scorcher without a cloud in the sky.

I am coming to the conclusion that I'm going to have to do some back stitch in metallic threads afterwards, so have bought a cheap & cheerful set from our local Asda (owned by Walmart) that gives 6 colours (32m of thread in each) for £2. I'll leave stitching the highlights until everything else is finished, but I think they should give the picture a bit of pizzaz.

The figure's leggings are quite heavily covered in confetti, and I'll probably start to tackle them by the end of the week.

Can I ask the advice of people who park, at what level of confetti do they change from 'Cross Country' to 'Multi threads and Parking'? Would 6-7 colours in a 10 x 10 block be enough, or would the threshold be higher? I want to give the technique a try, so any advice is greatfully received.

Regards,

Richard
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Re: Luis Royo's 'Uranos Drops'

by Allyn » Mon Jul 07, 2014 9:45 am

richardandtracy wrote:...
The figure's leggings are quite heavily covered in confetti, and I'll probably start to tackle them by the end of the week.

Can I ask the advice of people who park, at what level of confetti do they change from 'Cross Country' to 'Multi threads and Parking'? Would 6-7 colours in a 10 x 10 block be enough, or would the threshold be higher? I want to give the technique a try, so any advice is greatfully received.


I don't cross-country anymore at all. Try it and see how you feel about it. I would think that with just a few colors, it would be easier to start parking and get the feel for it.
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Re: Luis Royo's 'Uranos Drops'

by richardandtracy » Mon Jul 07, 2014 10:17 am

Allyn wrote:I don't cross-country anymore at all. Try it and see how you feel about it. I would think that with just a few colors, it would be easier to start parking and get the feel for it.


Thanks Allyn, that sounds like sage advice I'll try to follow.

Regards,

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Re: Luis Royo's 'Uranos Drops'

by vanessanjf » Mon Jul 07, 2014 2:37 pm

That is an amazing project. You are doing so well :applesauce: :applesauce: :applesauce:
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Re: Luis Royo's 'Uranos Drops'

by rcperryls » Mon Jul 07, 2014 2:41 pm

:applesauce: Great update! This is going to be gorgeous!

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Re: Luis Royo's 'Uranos Drops'

by richardandtracy » Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:00 am

Just a quick update to show progress with experiments in parking. Working on page 3 still.
Image
The figure's tummy ring and bikini bottom were done using the cross country method, while the tattoo & leggings have been done using Parking. In the tattoo I got in a bit of a muddle, putting one thread in the wrong place, then continued with the darker colour - as it happens it changes the tattoo in a positive manner, so I'm leaving well alone.
The front:
Image
At one point in the leg tattoo I had threads splayed out radially from where I was working and it resembled nothing more than all the clamps & pipes needed for open heart surgery! Felt almost as complicated too.
At the moment the figure looks as if she's wearing a fish tail skirt.
The back:
Image
I remain to be convinced the method is giving much of a benefit, but will accept that the stitches look a little neater, and it's possible the back is a little neater. I shall persist with parking until the end of the page at the very least to give it a decent try - at the moment I suppose I've only completed 2-300 stitches using the method, which isn't long enough to get used to it.

Regards,

Richard
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Re: Luis Royo's 'Uranos Drops' Update 14 Jul 2014

by RosemaryD » Mon Jul 14, 2014 11:16 am

It's looking great. Going back to your initial question about parking, I agree with Allyn that fewer threads makes it easier; 6-7 colours in a block is a very pleasant number to park. I know what you mean about getting in a muddle with large numbers of threads, and in busy areas with lots of similar colours I do take extra time to double check I've parked in the right place. I therefore don't think it saves me any time in these areas but because there is less starting/finishing of threads I think it helps avoid lumps on the back.

I would persevere as you say to the end of the page and see how you feel about it. It took me some getting used to having been a dedicated cross-country stitcher but I'm pretty much a parking convert now. Of course there is no "right way" and the end result will look just as good whichever method you prefer.

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