Remember the “project that wasn’t?” After sketching it I decided not to proceed with it. My issue was that it looked too jumbled, and therefore didn’t accurately depict the plant that inspired me.
My inspiration photo:
The initial sketch:
However, I was slow to put the sketch away so it lived on my design wall for a while. That gave me time to consider it further and I thought, “Why work so hard at making it just an abstract design? Why not let it look more like the subject?” So, I rearranged my six squares a good bit and came up with this.
There. That was more like it. Definitely abstracted, but with the nice curve and drape of a few flower petals. I was happy enough to continue.
Next came a computer sketch.
Still happy. Time to audition fabrics. Starting with “black” for the six backgrounds.
I constructed this piece in a very non-standard way using reverse applique. That is, I cut the black fabric to the needed shapes, so other fabrics could be tucked underneath. Like this first block, bottom left.
Why use this technique? One reason: to avoid the black fabric from shadowing through the lighter ones. Putting black on top got rid of this issue.
From a technical standpoint this worked well. The only issue is that it was difficult to change my mind, since the first version would be cut before I realized I wanted a change. Thankfully, my design explorations meant that I needed only a couple of very minor changes. Whew!
Above, most of the black cuts were done. Time to audition petal fabrics.
Auditioning is extremely important. I always tell my students “everything affects every other.” Which means you can’t make a decision in isolation. You have to see how each fabric, item, or placement will work with those around it. For instance, look at the middle two fabrics above, in the left center block. Can you see that they blend together a little bit? So, I changed one of them, which you can see below.
The photo above shows the flower petals partially complete. They were pretty easy to do, since most of the shaping had already been done with the black fabric.
Here the flowers are, complete.
Green leaves and other details would happen soon. I’ll show you next time.