Going Gray with 'White Tiger Beauty'

I have been concentrating on developing a number of neutrals for my wool palette by combining complimentary colors in my palette. These produced three outstanding neutrals pictured here. The procedure and my color theory are all laid out on the PALETTE DYEING rug camp, so I refer you to that discussion in order to track what I'm doing here (left to right: AD 114 Sand Castle; AD 115 Milk Week; AD113 Rosy Cheeks).

I have gone on to produce grays, and yesterday came up with a fantastic gray by combining equal portions of two of my tertiary colors: 8=Green-Blue and 10=Blue-Purple. This produced a cool gray I'm calling Stormy Seas. I need to combine 4=Orange-Yellow and 6=Yellow-Green which should produce a warm gray, but I ran out of some of my dyes so this will have to wait until another weekend. I decided to go ahead and over-dye some plaids with Stormy Seas so that I have some textures in this color to use, and dappled dyed a couple of pieces too.

So what to hook with these neutrals to give them a try? I am inspired to hook a white tiger after going to the Houston Aquarium last weekend with Alexander and his grandparents. They have four white tigers there, and they are stunning.

Where to start? First, I am going to continue my pursuit of value hooking. So I'm not going to hook by trying to match colors to a photo. I'm going to hook by focusing on my light, medium and dark values. I am going to use all my neutrals pictured above.

I went on the web and found several pictures of white tigers, printed them and pasted them in my hooking journal for inspiration. As for design, I will just hook a full face and I will put my own markings on the animal so I can be freer to design as I go. So here is my red dot sketch and my rough pattern transferred.

Since I'm value hooking, I need a black and white image. So I xeroxed an image to use as a guide and made a black and white photo of another image in iphoto. I like to use the xerox and the black and white option in iphoto because it darkens the image and increases the contrast, so I can see really well where my lights and darks are and where my medium values are. In this case, the medium values are running down his forehead and down his nose, so in these areas I am going to use #3-6 values and textures I over dyed. The whiter areas I will hook with #1-2 values of my neutrals. The darker areas will get #7-8 values of my neutrals, and I am going to add in for fun some of the #7 and 8 values of my 10=Blue-Purple, 11=Purple, 12=Purple-Red, since the gray I am using is a cool gray made from my #8 and #10 dyes.

I am going to start with his eyes, which will be blue, so here I will use my 9=Blue. I am choosing to go with #4 cut because I want to increase my detail. But this piece is measuring about 15" by 17" so I could easily have used a #6 cut too. First I hooked the black outlines of his eyelids, using two different darks, one on the top and the other on the bottom. Then I hooked the blue eyes, using several small bits of #1, 2, 3, 4, and 8 values of 9=Blue, with dark black in the center. A loop and two tails (pulled in the same hole) of white finishes the eye by adding the light sparkle.

Next I hooked some of the dark markings with a variety of my #7 and #8 values of my neutrals and my 10=Blue-Purple, 11=Purple, 12=Purple-Red. Then I hooked some of the lightest areas with my #1 and 2 values of my neutrals. This is what 'White Tiger Beauty' looks like after one evening of hooking.