Tutorial: Patchwork

Patchwork Clothing & Stitching
[Page 2 of 2]
A key thing to note is that patches and stitches will follow the movement of whatever they happen to be upon. They're attached to the cloth (or skin, if you're painting Frakenstein), and so they move with it. As such, you'll need to pay close attention to have your patches and stitches follow the folds, bends, and twists of the cloth (or skin, etc). You don't need to be precise, however, as real life patches are added after the fact and so won't necessarily line up perfectly with the existing surface.

The next step is to highlight the patch itself as well as the area surrounding the patch. This helps the patch stand out as an individual piece of cloth that's been sewn on, rather than a pattern in the cloth itself.
Highlight the patches and surrounding cloth to set it apart.
No black was used in the photo at this point -- the dark line is a result of highlighting both patch and surrounding area.
Now it's time to make this thing really happen. Squares of colour are easy enough to handle, but they don't really look much like patchwork. It needs stitches!

This is where your size 000 Winsor & Newton brush comes in. Using black (or a suitably dark colour), paint small dashes with the tip of the brush. These dashes should be more or less perpendicular to the angle of the patch on the cloth, but they should not be exactly the same. Stitching shifts a bit due to the weight of the cloth and so looks best if left mildly chaotic. Let the lines cross one another to form an "X" if you like.
Adding individual stitches.
This is really the only tricky part, but steadying your hand on the edge of your painting table while leaning the miniature against a piece of foam can really help.
Don't worry if the black is a bit off as the final highlight is where a steady hand really matters. See all those little black dashes you just finished? Well, grab a light brown (GW Bleached Bone, GW Graveyard Earth, or Vallejo Knaki Grey #880 all work very well) and highlight each of those black dashes! "AIEEEEE," you might scream! "I knew it wasn't easy!" Au contraire! It IS easy! You made all those black dashes in the first place, so you can make little small bone coloured ones, too! Just whisk the lighter colour across the middle of the black dashes. We just want to hint at the existance of stitches. We do not need to be precise; we WANT some of the black to show on one side or the other.

Sounds scary to do? It really isn't if you've got a proper brush. Remember also the scale. Certainly some stitching highlights will go astray, but it's not likely this will be noticeable. In fact, it can add to the chaotic stitching effect. If need be, practice on a small piece of cardboard or paper, or use a Pigma Micron Pen to make the stitching.
Some garish stitching examples.
Chicken, chicken, chicken soup. Here's some examples of stitching used to add variety to clothing.
Now go forth and stitch up a storm!


If you found this tutorial helpful, why not donate to Necrotales to let me know?

Recent Auctions
CMON Rank: