Work-in-Progress Pictures: Sea Otter

Sea Otter Needle Painting Work-in-Progress Pictures by Tanja Berlin

The sea otter was embroidered for my sister and brother in law’s Christmas present.

The sea otter is worked in the method of needle painting which is the blending of straight long and short stitches using different shades of DMC embroidery cotton (floss).

The embroidery is worked on a blue satin fabric in a 12 inch by 12 inch stretcher bar frame. The fabric is pinned onto the stretcher bar frame so that it is drum tight.

The embroidery is worked from the background to the foreground so that a dimensional picture is created.

The embroidery is worked in eight shades of DMC cotton embroidery thread and took approximately 60 hours to stitch and is 7 1/2 inches wide by 3 3/4 inches high.

First I painted the outline of the sea otter onto the fabric and then I painted the water using 3 shades of blue acrylic paint.

Next I couched down either a single strand of silver No. 7 Japan thread or a single strand of Silver No. 5 Japan thread along the edges of the waves.

Next I worked the left paw as it is behind all other areas of the body. The paw is worked in long and short stitch.

I then worked the right shoulder, neck and behind the ears in long and short stitch.

I worked a split stitch around the head to raise it above the neck and the back ground fabric, then worked around the edge of the head in long and short stitch.

I continued working rows of long and short stitch around the head finishing at the center leaving spaces for the eyes and nose.

Next I worked the right paw beginning at the end of the paw and working towards the right shoulder.

I finished the right paw taking care to blend the last few stitches into the shoulder of the sea otter and then I worked the nostrils and the first layer of satin stitch for the eye of the otter.

I added a second layer of satin stitch to the eyes and finished off the nose in long and short stitch.

For the finishing touches I added a glint of light in the eye with a couple of satin stitches, I also added defining stitches in the face above the eyes to give the otter more expression. In the water I added French knots to the waves in two different shades of blue to give the water depth.