Sunday, April 28, 2013


I am working on another piece using the shirting fabrics and buildings. This one is big for me and I am struggling with it. I decided to work with a cooler color scheme and this blue building is quite prominent toward the center of the piece.

Dead. The darned thing was dead. I kept thinking those warmer colors surrounding it would liven it up, but it was not happening. This is an area that I wanted to keep somewhat low-key, so it seemed like the gray parts were going to help achieve that, but I finally decided the gray was killing the blue. And those dark gray windows?—too much contrast and really dead. I tried a lot of different fabrics. I cut them and pinned them and stood back to look and nothing worked. Argh. So frustrating. I left it and came back to it later. Still no inspiration.

This is where it stands now.

I think this is so much better, but I need to let it alone for awhile before I'm sure. Less contrast, for sure. And, yes, I see that the windowsill on the left window is wonky. I need to fix that too.

Sometimes things fall rather nicely into place. Sometimes the simplest things can drive you nuts and nothing seems to work. Tomorrow is another day.


  1. I can see what you mean about dead. Sort of reads in the mind like no one lives here anymore. no curtains or life in the window. hope you settle on something that works.
    Sandy in the UK

  2. My first thought was that it sort of looked abandoned but the new facade really changed that!
    I love this series!

  3. Anonymous8:55 AM

    I think that the problem might be in the values. All the values, even the warm ones are very similar. And you've used grayed tones in all of them. Perhaps adding some true colors might be helpful. Please let us see your final result.

    1. I have shown such a small part of the whole piece here that I am making it hard for viewers to properly evaluate it. The value problem here is tricky because this house I am showing is intended to be part of a group of buildings that are not the real focus of the piece. My intention was for them to blend together as one "unit", then there is another unit that is dark and another that is very light. Part of the puzzle here is getting enough value contrast within each area to let the elements read, yet keep them unified. I think I had too much contrast going in the blue building, but perhaps not enough now. Argh!

  4. Yes, I think the bits you've added have worked. It's funny how sometimes we work intuitively as if we're "in the zone", and other times its so hard.

  5. What if the front of the blue building were slightly different shades/values of blue. Say, from the horizontal element just above the top of windows/door to the ground. Slightly darker, I think. Del

  6. make the windows brown??

  7. I think the plaid windows fades out the building a little - that might be a good thing if you're not wanting to focus on this building. The dark contrast windows bring more focus to the building - They're so contrasty it makes me wonder why it looks abandoned.

    I like the contrast strips at the top. They bring the warms colors over. Perhaps you could pull that color down to the door or toward the foundation.

    Enjoying the process, as always.