If you're anything like me, the back of your plastic canvas work tends to be pretty messy. Lots of colors, lots of strings stretching over sections of another color, stopping and starting strings in sections of another color. That's fine. After all, you don't see the back of your piece most of the time.
There is one case where it is a problem, though. When you're working a dark pattern on a light background. In that case, you can usually see the dark strings quite clearly through the white, and it makes the light color look dingy and the piece look less polished overall.
I'm working on a pattern right now that's dark red on a white background and I've been having to really restrain myself while stitching, so I figured it would be a perfect time to get some pictures of how I do it.
Here's a picture of the front of the finished piece:
If you look closely, you can see a couple of spots where the red shows through the white where I was less careful (for instance, around the top of the bottom star). If you're very sloppy with your yarn, you'll have that all over instead of in just a couple of small places.
And here is the back without the white so you can see what I did with the red.
Basically I kept it as compact as possible. Avoid skipping over to other sections as much as possible. Finish up a block of color before moving on to another block of color. Travel under stitches as much as possible to keep the traveling thread from escaping into the unstitched area. If you're going a long distance between blocks of color, secure the thread and cut it, then start it up again in the new spot.
I think it works better if you work the light color first and then do the dark color. The piece I'm working on uses a lot of cross stitching, and I like to lay those down before adding other stitches because it looks more consistent, otherwise I would have tried putting the white down first.
So I hope this tip helped you out a little! Does anyone else have any tips on how to stitch dark on light? Or tips on anything else they're working on right now?