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Rug Hooking a Face: The Background

This entry is part 7 of 7 in the series How to Hook Faces

Hooked face of woman

This portrait of my imaginary woman is now complete.  Notice the lower part of her neck.  I think the uneven edge actually gives the neck more dimension.  I did do a bit of tweaking once all the hooking was done.  About the time I added the sashing, I decided to soften her forehead some more and added hair.  Be sure to add the shadow that the hair casts on the skin.  Her right eyebrow was adjusted also.  I added more light in this area.  I added a dark shadow under this eye also.  The little bit of dark under the lower lip helps to make the lips stand out.  I darkened the nostrils.  These are never circles.  I added a dark line using the same wool that I used to separate the lips.

Notice how her hair and the background tend to blend together in some areas.  When I studied watercolor painting, getting lost edges was an advanced technique.  In rug hooking, lost edges tend to make most people nervous.  When you are hooking in a realistic style, do not fear lost edges.  They enhance the work and make it more interesting.
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Rug Hooking a face: Adding the sashing

With sashing sewn on

With sashing sewn on

Look at the lower part of her neck.  You can see by comparing it with the prior post that I ripped out some of it.

I took about a 5″ wide piece of wool and sewed it on, right sides together, using the same method I use for finishing pillows.  You can read more about this technique at the rug eSchool.

My plan was to turn the excess wool to the back.  I used four pieces of wool.  In the future I would use one long piece and sew it on like a quilt binding.  When I turned the excess to the back, making the miter on the back was very difficult.  I was worried that I would cut off too much.

This type of finish is called a show finish.  On this piece about 2″ of flat wool “shows” around the edges.  You can adjust this amount by using a wider or narrower piece of wool.

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