Introduction to Stitched Portraits

Introducing the art of stiching portraits

By Paintings in Hospitals

Marna Lunt

Nurse Leah (2020) by Karena Ryan textilesPaintings in Hospitals

When I create work with thread I approach the piece exactly how I would if it were paint. I think about the layers, tones, values. I enjoy the mark making and textures that the thread brings and want those to mimic the brush strokes and paint textures I would usually build using oil paint.

Asam (2020) by Marna LuntPaintings in Hospitals

I am not looking to smoothly blend the threads or to make a traditional silk embroidery picture, I want blocks of thread to create movement & a tactile surface. 

 I see the thread as simply an alternative medium to watercolour or oils. My style is to be more painterly with my strokes rather than photorealistic.

Nurse Thaya Boys (2020) by Emily TullPaintings in Hospitals

When contemplating my palette I choose the thread based on the exact shade I need, you need to buy or dye every colour you may need. I can’t add a bit of ochre to neutralise a shade, it has to already exist in my box of tricks. 

Asam (2020) by Marna LuntPaintings in Hospitals

 I also need to think about how I would use large or small brush strokes to create a form as I don’t have the same flexibility with the thickness of thread.

I mix thread types like silk, wool, linen and cotton to help create depth and mood. I consider thickness of threads to create weight, detail. The technical side of things is not the medium of thread and how to stitch as with embroidery but of how to lay down colour and to create form which I learnt at art school.

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