Monday, April 29, 2013

Atmospheric perspective

Here is the top portion of my quilt, the part that is in the distance in my landscape.  As I choose my fabrics and pin them to the design wall, I carefully consider the concept of atmospheric perspective.

What is atmospheric perspective? 

Well, think about a view of a large landscape.  I can look out my window and see a bit of grassy area with several trees.  Farther out I can see several layers of hills and mountains all covered with more trees.  On the trees close to me, I can see individual pine needles and pine cones and their color is a vibrant green.  Out on the distant hills, the trees are a softer green and none of the details of the branches or pine needles can be seen.  That is atmospheric perspective, the fact that color is less intense in the distance as well as the details of an object being less clear.

Off to the right you can see that I am choosing fabrics that are softer in color as well as ones that have softer edges or patterns to them.  Considering atmospheric perspective gives your work much greater depth.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Interesting Spark or Misfit?

Sometimes I find that it is a fine line between a fabric being a perfect accent that adds much-needed interest to a piece or being a total misfit that ruins the whole atmosphere.

The gray rolling "scallop" print to the left is one I've added along my river in the foreground area.  I like the texture of the print but the color intensity is perhaps a little stronger than other fabrics I have already included.

After staring at the gray scallop pinned on my design wall for a day or two,  I decided to take the leap and include it in the mix.  Because of the color intensity, I can't quite make up my mind if it is just the right "something" I need or an unwelcome guest that needs to go!

Here it is included in an overall view of my project so you can see the  effect it has against the other fabrics for yourself.  This is one I will definitely take time to step back from and try to look at it with fresh eyes another day!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

An accent of color

While I love the subtle beauty of a monochromatic winter landscape, I do like to add a bit of a color accent.  Nothing that will take any attention away from my trees and meandering stream, but something to make the large expanses of lighter colored snow areas hold the viewers' interest.

My thoughts are to add areas of pale yellows, something to make you think of grasses showing though the snow as in the photo above.  I went through my fabric stash and found theses three fabrics, all with similar calico patterns, that I believe will give the impression that I want. 

I've added some of them to the design wall here and I think that will be enough.  I especially like the way they add a little interest to that large area at the top, on the left, breaking up that large expanse of light values a little.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Going Towards the Light

 After pinning up all the darker river area fabrics I thought I would want, it was time to step back and assess.  As these are going to be the only darker values in my piece, it's easy now to get a sense of how the value pattern is going to look against the white of the paper and decide if I like it.

I also have this fabulous fabric (seen here pinned to the right, on the design board) that has a cabbage-like pattern.  It's got great "texture" to it but it is much more intense in color than any other fabric that I'm using and seems a little out of place.  After much pondering (I really did like it and want to use it), I reluctantly took it down from my design wall and put it aside.

With all my darker values in place, my strategy is to go to the opposite side of the spectrum and fill in my lightest value.  In getting my lightest value into place and thinking of where those places might naturally fall in my landscape, I can then gradually make decisions on filling in the middle value areas between the two extremes of light and dark
Here's a picture of my lightest fabric.  There is a great large-scale pattern overall with areas of bright white, beige and pale gray.  Because the pattern is in a bit of a grid formation, I was careful to cut out my pieces randomly "on-point" so I didn't get strong vertical or horizontal lines in the final look.  The fabric is so light in color that it is hard to see in the photo of the design wall, but if you look carefully you can see where I have added the first of my snow" fabrics.