Here is part two of how to needle-sculpt a face.
There are no hard and fast rules about needle-sculpting a face. Here, I am doing one side at a time.
As you saw previously, I marked out the face with a bit of colour, so I could see how I want it to go and how even I could make the features. I don't do it this way every time, but I have been doing it this way lately with some success.
Thread your long darning needle with a good length ( approx half a metre - 30 inches) of strong thread.
Make a holding stitch at the back of the head, enter and exit at the corner of the eye.
Take a small stitch beside it, re-enter and scoop stuffing up with the needle to make a bridge for the nose and exit at the corner of the other eye.
Follow the line of colour down the nose length, making three stitches on each side. Remember to scoop up stuffing each time you go back and forwards.
Reinsert the needle, scoop stuffing up with the needle and exit at the opposite nostril.
Take a smal stitch beside it and re-enter the needle, exiting back in the original place. You can do this twice to encourage the nostirl indent upwards. make the last exit in the same nostril hole.
Re-enter the needle, scoop up the stuffing to make the nostril flare, and exit at the end of the row of three stitches above the nostril hole.
Take a stitch to the side, following the curve of the nostril flare as above. Insert the needle and exit in the opposite nostril. You can do this twice to create the indent, as with the other nostril. Exit in the nostril.
Take a small stitch, scoop up the stuffing and exit at the end of the row of three stitches above the nostril.
Take a stitch to the side, following the curve of the nostril flare as above. Reinsert the needle and exit in the cheek dot.
Take a stitchsideways and with the needle, really scoop down into the stuffing, to make a good cheekbone. Exit at the outer corner of the eye.
Take a small stitch, re-enter the needle and exit at the cheek dot again.
Gently squeeze and pull on the thread to pull the corner of the eye down and the cheek up!
Now for the other side of the face!
Take the needle across the mouth and enter at the cheek dot. Really scoop down into the stuffing, to make a good cheekbone and exit at the outer corner of the eye.
You can see the tension in my finger there, as I am slowly pulling the thread to indent the mouth and cheek at the same time! you can use your thumb to squeeze the mouth shape and keep it there while you keep the tension on the thread. Take a small stitch, re-enter the needle and exit at the cheek dot again, same as the other cheek.
Take a stitch sideways, to assist the cloth to hold the stuffing up , enter the cheek and exit at the nostril flare.
Enter at the top of the nostril flare and exit under the lip. This makes the indent between the lip and the chin. Take the stitch across to the other side. (Notice how the stitches under the nose and chin stretch the cotton fabric? I could have eliminated that by making my stitch length smaller - but I didn't.............sigh! Never mind. no one will notice it when it's all finished - unless it goes into a competition and my needlework is JUDGED!
Gently tug the thread to create a soft indent and not too much so it creases. Make a holding stitch or two and cut the thread.
And there you have it!
I hope this tutorial takes a lot of the mystery of needle sculpting away for you and I hope you will practice it and gain confidence with needlesculpting.
I would love to see any pictures anyone wants to share with me.
Next week, I will follow this up by showing how I colour the face.