For centuries, people have captured the beauty of their surroundings in various artforms. Those looking for realism followed specific rules as they composed their creations. While not everyone has an academic understanding of those rules, each of us has an intuitive awareness of nature, simply by being
part of it. It is an interesting challenge to translate a three dimensional image, whether from nature or from your imagination, onto a flat, two-dimensional surface.
Why not simply copy a photograph?
Nature is full of detail, irregularity, and chaos. As we
compose a picture, we select the pieces of nature that are most important to our goal, and ignore the parts that would only confuse the viewer. Composition is essentially a process of selection, simplification, and arrangement.
Whatever the medium, be it a sheet of paper, a painter's canvas, a woven tapestry or a knitted garment, there are many techniques to use when trying to create
the illusion of three-dimensional reality. Some of the most useful tools
are perspective, scale, repetition, and color balance.
In our design process, we usually begin with a simple sketch. We use perspective to compose the image with realism, and to give emphasis to specific elements in the picture. We add color to the sketch, giving the objects form by shading them.
The use of shadows in the landcape are very effective in helping to create more depth and dimension. Ground shadows are often used to keep objects from appearing to float. When using shadow, you must first decide from which direction the light is coming, and maintain that direction throughout the picture for every object which casts a shadow.
When we are satisfied with our design, we convert it to a stitch pattern, printed on a chart proportioned for the gauge. See printing charts.