Coloring in the "Waiting for the Parade" pattern, with colored pencils, gave me an idea of the contrast, value and color choices. It helps to color the pattern pieces, so I don't get them mixed up, when they get cut up. Coloring the background area, will probably be changed, I added fall leaves to the foreground, so the background tree will be Autumn colors too. I think a dark rich orange will offset the screaming yellow umbrella. Next is to put a piece of muslin over the pattern, and trace it with a Pigma pen, this will give me a foundation to set the individual pieces on, as they get cut.
This is addicting! I've been cutting up more stencils and masks, with Botanical themes. Thin twiggy branches, mushrooms, and bluebells, thistles and daisies. I got tired of the Poppy pods as a focal point, having a variety of flowers will make it more interesting. I want to try some multi color paint combinations.
Some of the pieces I cut from satin finish quilters template plastic, I set them on the Xray film for contrast. But I really like the dark Xray film for the stencils, the contrast helps you see what you are doing.