This is the inspiration for my next art quilt. I took the photo at last year's Veterans Day Parade, the girls were leaning out waiting for people to throw candy. One of the books I read on quilting people, is that it is not who you know, nieces, nephews, friends, but the body language and the story it tells. So I have tried to apply that theory to my pictorial quilts. I think the girls are cute, and posed well, the contrast in colors between the yellow umbrella and the pink, really pack a punch.
This is the first sketch I made, with clear plastic, I cut up sheet protectors, and used an ultra fine Sharpie pen. I trace the main lines, then the finer detail, and try to simplify the background. They are standing at the curb, with an arched cement bridge rail in background, I eliminated the older girl, and put them closer together.
Next I tried to add more background detail, made notes about contrast and colors, and then decided to crop it. Making the girls more of a close up focus. With a double line crop, I made the umbrella overlap the border, giving them more motion and emphasizing the leaning forward in the frame. I will make the border part of the picture, with those sections being a darker shadowy color for contrast.
THE FINAL SKETCH--- I got rid of most of the background, making the girls the focal point, it has more POW! The polka dots on the umbrella will add a lot of depth and shape. The next step is to posterize this in Photoshop, blowing it up onto four pieces of paper, will make it about 16" x 20. I may go bigger to 24" x 30". The decision will be based how how small the smallest pieces are, do I need them bigger to make them easier to handle? Which size will give me the best view and ease of construction. This will be a raw edge applique project, now it is sort of like a jigsaw puzzle, cutting out pieces and fitting them together. I am not a wishy washy person when it comes to picking fabric, I go with my gut instinct. I don't hem and haw about my fabric choices, I make a choice, go with it, and if it doesn't fit later, I'll change it. I keep in mind value and contrast, whether a piece is behind or in front of another piece, creating depth. Studying color theory can give you a headache, but it is a very good basis for your decisions, then when it is time to apply color theory I use my intuition. Now it is time to PLAY WITH FABRIC!!!