Wednesday, January 18, 2017


I will return to working on the Dog Fabric Piecing, but a few words now about digitizing dog eyes. They can be tricky.  There are many subtleties in colors and working with those subtleties helps you make a more realistic eye.... I am no expert.... but here is how I tackled those cute little eyes that always melt our hearts.

I am using Stitch Artist by Embrilliance for digitizing.  Its one of the most user friendly programs and there are many many Stitch Artist Videos to help you get started.  The online PDF manual is full of great instruction.  For my fabric piecing project I used Stitch Artist Level 1.

There are 6 parts to digitizing an eye and I have listed them in the order I digitize them:

Background (Sclera)  For humans this is the "whites" of the eyes.  For dogs...their irises are pretty big....only showing the sclera at the outer corners of the eye.  They also have a inner eye lid (bet you didn't know that....I only found out when I tried to put eye drops in my dog's eyes... impossible....that's another subject!) So I chose to make the background a darker shade than the iris.  I then add any white as a highlight after the whole eye is made.

Outer Iris  - Darker part of the outer eye

Inner Iris - Lighter part of the inner eye

Pupil - Black

Highlights - Usually white - this gives life to the eye.

Outline - usually a color that will define the my case Black

Starting with the Background I draw with points the outline of the eye.  I upped the number on the density of the fill as I don't want to make the eye so dense its hard to stitch.  Remember with density....lower the number if you want more density....up the number if you want less density:

The outer iris is next.  I changed the density of the fill to 7 from 12. Again I use draw with points and made a circle for left eye.  I don't use the circle in the shape file menu because I like more nodes to play with. I copy and paste it and move to right eye.  I move the nodes around and make them contour to the picture.  I then copy and paste the two outer irises to be used to make the inner irises.

I reduce the size and change the color of the copies, and move them into place.....there I have the inner irises.  I copy and paste the inner irises to use for the pupils.

ALL FILLS HAVE A 3 pt pull compensation.

Its looking very "eyelike"   I reduce the size and change the color of the copies, and move them into place.....there I have the pupil.  I changed the stitch to a satin column.  Density 4.

Now for the highlights.... I used a fill stitch the corners of the eye and a satin colum for the highlight on the pupil.

For the Satin Columns I used a 2 pt. pull compensation

For the outline of the eye I am still working out what looks best.  I tried a Bean Stitch, but it did not stand out enough against the black fabric....maybe it would stand out more on other colored fabric....will have to give that a go.  So to outline you can either use a run using a bean stitch or a run using a back stitch set at 1.0mm.

Bean Stitch Outline

Back Stitch Outline

I did a stitch out of my dog eyes....the second pic is an enlargement.

Here is the full stitch out of my Maybelle Dog.  I will blog about that soon.  I am far from an expert on digitizing but I am very pleased with these eyes.  Maybelle eyes are lighter than they appear on this picture.  They are actually brown.  Good Dog!

No comments: