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Nimue Creation Step by Step

A few months ago I wanted to write about the creative process either in general or the particularities related to a specific topic in progress. And as these articles are acclaimed by many of you, I continue…

In this part of the site you will therefore find articles that tell how a creation is developed step by step, mixing technical, economic and poetic questions.
And above all, do not hesitate to leave your comments at the end of the article. Good reading !

Viviane La Dame du Lac : episode 10


A few days, hours and Netflix series later I’m still at the stage of the set.
I started the set a month ago, it’s a long time. Average of 3 hours a day 4-5 times a week. I don’t know why it takes me so long? But it’s not complicated.
I finished the rocks, waterfall and other minerals and here I am in the forest, floating in the canopy. I wish I could say that I am coming to the end but that would be lying.
I have not yet finished the first trees on the right and I still have the big tuft on the left! Pouh

Without light: no choice of colors.

What happened?
I did what I said. Which is not nothing.
I continued in 1 thread on 2 threads of weft. And I really don’t regret it.
It’s soft and light as the character. It is harmonious.
Let’s do the counting.
How long to embroider?
Yesterday I had a typical day:
  • I took my book around 4 p.m.
  • Designed the area to be embroidered
  • then I went for it.
  • 3 hours later I had embroidered… a little foliage.
Back to history:
  • September 19: hair finished
  • September 22: the lake is embroidered
  • September 26: the rocks below are embroidered
  • September 29: the rocks above the lake are embroidered
  • October 1st: I attack the lower right part of Viviane
  • October 3: the first rocks at the bottom are in place
  • October 9: I went up a notch I arrive at the level of the hand
  • October 10: I’m past the hand!
  • October 16: the rocks and waterfall are finished
  • October 18: Trees have taken root
  • October 19: the leaves appear
Except between October 3 and 9 when there is a void it is still quite rhythmic.

Doing to do is useless. When I'm not sure, I stop.

But what happened between October 3rd and October 9th? Very expensive rain! A week of rain and low front. That is: no light.
Without light: no choice of colors.
At the moment, where I live, that is to say in the forest of Brocéliande, we have (good) light around 5pm.
At this time, the light becomes vast in the room without being dazzling. It’s up to me to make sure I’m at a decision point. That is, I must have embroidered or designed everything that leads to that time before. If it’s an hour later, it’s too late, I should wait until 5pm the next day.
Doing to do is useless.
When I’m not sure, I stop.
Yesterday, someone said to me: “perfectionism is statufiant”. It’s true.
This topic could be long over in someone else’s hands. In the hands of someone who would not stop at all these little details, these perfect hours. But here I am the captain and the captain of the ship is suffering from acute perfection. Ouch!
Concretely this means that if I do not have the vision of the right answer I prefer not to answer so as not to have:
  • or to be disappointed
  • to be content with it
  • or to have to redo
I chose my side but it has consequences. I don’t produce fast enough for this fast-track world. Too bad. I like it like that.
The funny thing is that what I’m embroidering right now is where I am.
My creative lair is five meters above the ground, open to the tall trees. There are two beautiful windows, one overlooking the forest with willows in the foreground and just behind the century-old oaks. The other window overlooks the huge branches of a plane tree with leaves wider than my hand.
You will understand why sometimes it is a little dark. However the leaves will fall and in a month I will see more clearly!
Looking at the image we understand that it is a matter of pointillism. The vegetation is not really drawn but suggested by close touches of mixed colors.
You’ll tell me it’s great pointillism is a bit like cross stitch!
Yes but no.
If I follow the image as closely as possible, I am sure to arrive at a kind of bouillabaisse of anecdotal points. And besides, the points of a strict grid like the counted point do not correspond to touches of paint that become entangled.
You have to interpret. Create a way that will give the illusion that it is the same thing.
To go further, my job as a colorist is to find the right vibration between colors. Beyond what it represents tree, stone, face, it is to make sure that the colors want to “sing” together.
This is not possible on a whole work because there are constraints, but sometimes, in some places, there is a form of magic that takes place.
  • This is what is for example in the face of Guinevere,a kind of perfect harmony that brings grace.
  • For Viviane, the cape, with its vaporous effect, gives a lot of charm to the whole.

As for the trees, as I do not have the contrast effect related to the pink of the sky of the original image, my canvas being white, and having absolutely no intention of embroidering the sky: how will I interpret the trees?

Small Arthurian Library

A little reading before leaving….

If in most Arthurian novels we follow the fantastic epics of the knights, few highlight the female characters.

The work of Marion Zimmer Bradley brings a new breath by giving the leading roles to the female characters: Viviane the Lady of the Lake, Morgane the Fairy, Yguerne Queen of Cornwall, Guinevere…

Let me share with you this literature that I love. "As an Amazon Partner, I make a profit on eligible purchases."

If playback is not your thing you can still enjoy it: there are DVDs!

See you for the rest: Viviane Episode 11…

Don’t forget to sign up in the right insert to follow all the episodes

Viviane, The Lady of the Lake, by Nimuo after an illustration by Elph’s Zephir.

Don’t hesitate to leave your comments below!

Picture of Annaïck Chauvel

Annaïck Chauvel

Welcome to the story of Nimue’s Creations. Here I share with you the How and Why of these creations.

Table of Materials

Parade finishes, episode 2

Mysterious “less” grid As I said in the previous episode (Episode 1) I considerably re-enhanced the colors. What is subtle and charming in paper printing

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Victoria is a really important subject in the history of Nimuë. Originally I created it on a purple marbled canvas from Zweigart on Cashel or

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Why do I embroider?

Why do I embroider… When I embroider what matters to me is to feel emotions, to be in the gesture. One wonders how a gesture

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