Friday, October 30, 2009


The face involves many changes in direction of beadworking. The lapels are worked vertically. The neck switches to horizontal rows of beadwork. To switch direction, put a bead on the needle and dig down into the existing beads and catch the thread that goes between two beads, go back through the new bead. The head continues up and around. The ear is a semicircle within a semicircle. When I do a face, I almost always think that the face will just not come out as I am in progress. However, I concentrate on dark vs light vs medium areas and on establishing lines such as cheek ridges, nose bridge, eyebrows, etc. If you can't see enough detail in the photo you are working from, enlarge it on a copier, playing with the dark/light buttons till you get an image with value differentiation. Fine details are just not possible. I usually find that when I am done, a readable face emerges.

The woman's legs are done just like the man's pantlegs. The socks and shoes do pose a problem since one is in front of the other and they still need to read as separate. The forward sock is lighter and the forward shoe is edged in a gray metallic. I choose not to depict the toe of the behind shoe. The feet read OK as is and the behind toe might add confusion. If I felt that the behind toe was necessary, I would have chosen to do it in small matte black beads.

The face was finished by working in toward the center, weaving the last hole together with tiny beads. The most important thing to remember is to constantly check the size, shape and direction of the beaded piece in progress with the photo you are working from. I sometimes do this every bead or two. It is easy to get an area too big or forget to change direction when needed. Often I will place a bead and then have to remove it and replace with a bead of a different size, color or value.

The Swing Dancers are complete. Joanne


  1. WOW,I'm so glad I looked at your older post. I wondered whether you had any directions on how you did this bead work. Thank you, becasue this gives me direction on how to start work I want to do.

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