Go on, tell me I’ve ruined it…I suspected as much.

green horse

Not much to say about the green horse journal cover, now. It’s done, I think…”quit while you’re ahead,” the old wisdom goes; I might have to ammend that to “quit before you fuck it up any more.” The blue fabric pen will fade in time, not that this will make the dots on the spine of the book look any sexier. Just sayin’.

So now that you can see what I went and did, tell me what I should have done, instead. I’m interested to hear about the different ways you would have handled the horse’s background, because I hope to learn something from this experience.
Right. Ready! I’m listening…

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30 thoughts on “Go on, tell me I’ve ruined it…I suspected as much.

  1. Personally I thought it had real visual charm and that you need the vertical dots to balance the largely horizontal horse. It is almost as though the horse walks out of a dot forest and I like that.

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    1. Wow, what a fabulous interpretation!!! Makes me wish I had done it intentionally, and really did make a dot forest for the horse to walk out of! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you so much for this great noew way of thinking about the design, and something to work on in the future!

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    1. No, Hanna, I suppose you’re right, though without setting the critical bar I probably wouldn’t have come as far as I have (which is not terribly far, but it is a little way up from stick people drawings, which was all I could do until I was 26! This art part of my life is really quite a recent development). Thank you for your sunny, happy, always treasured encouragement!

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  2. I like the horse and the dots, but not together. Though if the dots are on the spine they should go ok. I love the bright colours on the horse and the way the mane and tail stand out in comparison.

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    1. Thanks! The dots do disappear around a corner, and I settled on the dots partly because I have been looking at too many Marimekko fabrics these days (where they use a lot of wonky circle shapes) and because the circles echo the pattern on the horse. So glad the colors on the horse got your thumbs up!

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  3. To me there is nothing intrinsically “wrong” with this work. However, if you were trying to go for Swedish minimalism the problem is not the dots (which I think are fabulous), but the colour of the horse. The blue green is too jarring against the more olive green of the dots and the cool grey/beige dots. I think you would have been closer to your goal if you had used a pastel olive green for the horse. I also think the citrine yellow in the overlying thread on the horses body (while going well with the green you have used) would have been better if it tended to a bronzed gold as in the mane. Having said all that, the body of the horse would be impossible to change at this point without creating a totally new embroidery. To make it more cohesive you could rework the dots as it wouldn’t be a huge job to unpick them and change the colours to a warmer beige/grey and a more bluish green. (I love the way you have juxtaposed the stitch directions, horizontal and vertical, in the dots. It makes it so interesting and lively). To me the most characteristic thing in swedish minimalism is the use of a very muted palette. I think your design is strong (including the dots) and as I said, it does look fine as it is. Just some thoughts….I hope you take them as constructive as I have intended.

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    1. Oh, my word Marta, this is such wonderful information, I suddenly wish there was a ‘Like’ button on my comments! I think you have hit the nail on the head, I’ve mixed a neutral palette with a rather vivid one (Marimekko uses vivid colors, too, I’ve noticed, but as you pointed out, they don’t mix vivid with neutrals very much) and yes, that blue green color, and the really loud yellow of the mane, are sticking out further than the rest of the design.
      I will simply have to re-do the design, though this one, as you see it, goes on a book cover today (she needs a journal urgently, I think she will forgive my amateurish design).
      Looking forward to trying this again, with all the great ideas folks like you have been sharing, incorporated…I want to se what that will look like!
      Thanks again for an invaluable color theory lesson! ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Thank you, Heidi! I’m so happy there’s a balance between folks who are giving me ideas for a better design, and those like you who like it as it is…because that means there’s a chance the owner will like it as it is, too.

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  4. I think it is wonderful too. My only question: Is the whole dotted area the spine or just the center line of dots, and how does it look to you when folded? The impression we get with it flat may not be the final view you are thinking of. I wouldn’t mind seeing more dots around the horse.

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    1. Hi, Cheryl…the whole strip of dots is on the spine, with a bit of the horse’s tail turning up on the spine as well. Darn, you’re probably right and I should have sprinkled a few dots on the front cover of the book, as well. I am going to do this again, so will definitely remember your suggestion for the next one. Learning curve! Thank you for telling me what you think!

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    1. I suspect you’re right. I should try it again with both a dark green (olive) and a pale grey green mane and tail, to see what would look better. The strong yellows in the mane, in particular, make this horse look like a teenager going through hair-dye experimentation phase. Thanks, Rachel, for sharing your ideas with me!

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  5. I like how it looks. Honestly the only thing I would’ve changed is that I might not have given the horse a mane and tail because the green is so pretty, but the more I look at it the more I like it as it is.

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    1. I had the same thoughts, perhaps I shoudl’ve left the mane out, but without the tail it looked very strange. Someone else has pointed out that the mane makes the horse look emo…too funny, now I think of it, it does a bit. The hues in this particular variegated thread were perhaps too jubilant. Maybe a pale grey-green mane and tail?
      Thank you SOO much for taking the time to tell me what you think!

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    1. You do? Oh, good, that’s good, if you say so then it really must be better than I thought. Am still a little miffed that the whole piece doesn’t have that sophisticated minimalism of Scandinavian designs, but then I’m not Scandinavian, so that figures. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks, Christine! I tried to leave comments on your blog, don’t know if they came through or not. ๐Ÿ˜

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    1. And you made me laugh out loud…an emo horse? Whatever I was trying for, it sure wasn’t that! But I love seeing these new facets through your eyes. Thanks so much! It could have been so much better, but I am so relieved that you like it nonetheless.

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  6. I have no clue how to do any of that but I think it looks really cute. I love the colors and the different type of textures.

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    1. Everyone’s being so NICE, I feel sheepish! Thank you, I’m relieved that you like it, and amazed at the kindness of people. Thanks to you, I look at it now and think “It’s not so bad…” ๐Ÿ™‚

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