Scarlet Quince News October 2006
Cross Stitch Patterns from Fine Art by Scarlet Quince

Scarlet Quince News
October 2006

Hello stitching friends,

We have a pattern award to announce: Lady with Fan - Gustav Klimt, shown at right. Chalida, Northridge, California, was the first to suggest this picture, and we have sent her a complimentary copy!

How Blended Floss Colors Work

You are probably familiar with the basics of mixing paints to achieve different colors. If you mix blue paint with yellow, you get green. If you mix red with blue, you get purple. Adding white paint to any color makes it paler; adding black makes it darker. This is such a common phenomenon that you have probably never questioned it, and yet at a molecular level, the paint hasn't changed color -- it is still a mixture of red and blue. But because the molecules are so small and close together, your brain interprets the signal it receives from your eye as being purple. This is called spatial summation.

Spatial summation occurs any time two different-colored objects are too small and close together to be told apart, and the objects can be much larger than molecules. It depends on how far away from your eye they are.

narrow red and blue stripes - looks purple
wide red and blue stripes
The image at the left appears to be purple but is actually a series of narrow red and blue lines. If you look closely you can see them. The image on the right is the "purple" image enlarged 5 times. If you can get back far enough from your computer screen (12-15 feet, or print this page and tape it to a distant wall), the red and blue striped image also appears purple.

Televisions, computer printouts in color, pictures in magazines, and older computer monitors all take advantage of this optical trick. We also rely on it when we blend floss colors. When we select the colors that predominate in a painting to create a cross stitch pattern, many of those colors may be a long way from matching any floss color. But by blending colors, using two different floss colors together, we can come close to most colors. Even when the two colors we blend are a strange combination, when you just step back from your work, your eye and brain magically turn them into the intended intermediate color.

A word to the wise, though -- in order to get the intermediate color we intended, both threads need to show equally. That's why it's important to keep your floss untwisted.

New patterns! Clink any picture for a closer look.

Lady with Fan - Gustav Klimt
Lady with Fan
Gustav Klimt
Still Life - Violin and Music - William Michael Harnett
Still Life - Violin and Music
William Michael Harnett
Hummingbird and Apple Blossoms - Martin Johnson Heade
Hummingbird and Apple Blossoms
Martin Johnson Heade
Sun and Moon Flowers - G. D. Leslie
Sun and Moon Flowers
G. D. Leslie

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