The languages of medieval manuscripts and medieval embroidery share many commonalities, one being the treatment of faces.
in opus Anglicanum grotesque faces are shown in shades of cadaverous blues and greys, using strong colour shading as opposed to the subtle stitched shading of the more saintly faces, and this same use of coloured grotesque faces occurs in the Lutrell psalter, mainly for human faces attached to less than human, or base bodies and activities.
The illustration I based the final two figures upon has the cadaverous hue of the grotesque. As I blocked in the main bodies I thought long and hard about how to treat them- should I use the flesh coloured two tone that’s worked so well on many of the animal grotesques or just bite the bullet and go for the full-on zombie?
Flesh coloured two tone would have looked fine, save I was concerned one figure was wearing a flesh coloured tunic. I was concerned that if I went zombie and hated it this would sour the finishing for me. In the end I realised I would regret it if I chickened out, so I went on a rummage for zombie colours.
The purple and grey was my first, but I really don’t think the two colours contrast enough, although Gareth says it works better from a distance. So I had another go with the palest blue in my arsenal, which it think works little better but is still not quite right.
I really want to try this form again, but I think I’ll save it for one of the fantasies where I plan to do silk faces.
I’m not going to pick it out though. I rarely unpick because I think I learn more from letting what could be regarded as mistakes stand. I say “what could be regarded as mistakes” because I don’t think a failed experiment is actually a mistake, but rather a step in development – a bit like the saying that you can’t ride a horse without falling off occasionally. If I unpick these I might forget what I can do to improve the next attempt.