How Do I Change the Colors on my Canvas?

Often you find a hand painted canvas needlepoint you love, but some of the colors aren’t right. The hair color is wrong. Pink just won’t go in the room, or you hate green.

Don’t pass on the canvas, you can change the colors easily.

Hair and skin colors are the easiest to change. For hair, just pick the correct color of the same thread. I like Burmilana, Rainbow Tweed, and Petite Peluche for hair. All of these lines of thread have excellent choices for hair colors.

Skin can be more difficult because there are so many colors and your choice of skin color should harmonize with the hair and clothing. Happily some companies, like Access Commodities and Rainbow Gallery, make palettes of thread colors for skin, so it is easier to find lighter or darker shades.

You can see exactly how I did this for a baseball nutcracker I made for my DH and made it into his favorite player in this blog post about the hand painted canvas needlepoint. The tricky part comes when you want to change another part of the design, say change the dress from pink to yellow.

Begin by finding a thread which will match the area of the canvas in the original color. You don’t have to be picky about the thread type, and it doesn’t even have to be an exact match, just very close. I pick threads from my stash, but you could also buy a skein of inexpensive floss.
Now go pick the thread you want to use in a color as close in value (light/dark) as possible to the original color. If possible it should have a similar level of saturation (bright/dull) as well.
Put the threads together and squint at them, they should look almost the same. You can also look at them through a red or green value filter; these remove the color so that you can judge on values alone.

As a final test, pull out the other threads you were planning to use and see if they work well with the new color. Sometimes changing one color will mean some of the other colors will need to change.

If this is the case, repeat the process with the other colors until you are happy with the result
Now stitch your hand painted canvas needlepoint and make a unique work of art!

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