Photorealistic Hand-Embroidered Portraits by Cayce Zavaglia

We’ve already seen some pencil or BIC ballpoint pen drawings that would be almost as accurate as photographs – but how about sewing some photo-realistic portraits..? St. Louis-based Cayce Zavaglia shows that it’s possible, although still considers herself more of a painter. Despite her medium being wool, Cayce says she borrows a great deal of technique from drawing and painting for her hand-embroidered creations.

Transition from paint to threads, however, proved to be challenging at first, as Cayce could no longer mix colors by hand and had to figure out new ways to give depth to her paintings. For a base she uses a picture, picked out of some 100-150 shots and then transferred onto the canvas. The final portraits, made on the Belgian linen, turn out to be up to 8″ x 10″.


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