Dragon & Ferret – Water colours & Embroidery

I seem to be enjoying the combination of water colours and embroidery. This piece features my own design of a “dragon” with a ferrety familiar. It features HUNDREDS of French knots!

The Painting

Learning my lesson from the “Winter Stroll” embroidery, I started this piece by doing the watercolour for the background before starting with any embroidery. The paints are straight from my travel pack of Winsor & Newton water colours, and at some point I will probably invest in a fabric paint box but I’m pretty happy with these at present. HOWEVER, next time, I will just buy a tube of the shade I want for large swathes of the background, rather than try to mix the shade (results may vary!).
The flesh tone used water colour pencils I bought specifically for this purpose. So those I coloured directly onto the fabric and used a brush dipped in water only, to even the tone.

The Embroidery

Pretty straightforward. I use Sulky “Petites” Cotton thread and DMC embroidery floss depending on whether I want sharp texture (Sulky) or soft (floss). e.g. The florals on the frock use the Sulky thread, as do the dragon’s arms and headpiece, while the cape is entirely made of floss. 

The cape has four different shades of blue, including my first use of metallic embroidery thread. While it adds a nice touch to the colours, it is a bit tricky to work with, especially for French knots. The threads tend to not stay together when pulled through the canvas, so step of running the thread into the knot needs to be paced by hand.