I want to share with you a design flaw I had and how I improved on it. If you go to my name (spirit2sew) and look at my files, you'll see a quilt called "Three Bales". I had that quilt critiqued by Sandra Sider and she recommended 3 improvements. One was to remove the clouds. Another was to make the bales of hay larger. The last suggestion was to make the yellow foreground a little darker. I made the first two changes. To make the bales of hay larger I had to hand sew them over the old ones and over some of the beaded green area. The clouds were easy to remove so I did that. I'm not sure I'll make the foreground darker. Next time I go to the fabric store, I'll buy some dark yellow or very light brown tulle and put that over the foreground to see if I like it or not. But I definitely think she was right about the first two changes. From this experience, I'm coming away with the idea of being bolder in my work. In my files you'll see the new and improved photo of the quilt. But I'm not sure if from these to photos you can see well enough the differences. But in person the differences are very visible to me. Sandra runs a quilt critique business but I'm not telling you about this as an advertisement for her, I just thought it might be helpful to you to see a successful design change. I'll post a photo of the improved version in the photo gallery now.
I see your two photos, but it's hard to tell exactly what's been happening because the two images appear to have been shot under different lighting circumstances. It's nearly impossible to shoot two versions of the same piece on different days, even at the same time of day, and get them to look alike in terms of color and lighting!
I can easily appreciate Sandra's (I know her through Studio Art Quilt Associates) opinion that the clouds should go. They were not very well expressed, even though you may have tried hard to replicate exactly what you saw. Rather, they were a distraction. I believe the piece is much better without them, so you did well to heed Sandra's words.
As for the darkening of the yellow, I suspect that was to bring the tone of it into alignment with the blue of the sky and the green of the adjacent fields. Another good suggestion! As was the enlargement of the hay bales.
Your composition as such was simple enough, but it relied on such factors as these to make it work. You made a good job of applying the changes, and can now relax and pat yourself on the back for a job well done!
Dena - in Kenya
an easier way to darken the yellow might be to color them in with colored pencil - most of the time it washes out if find you don't like it.
Value - how much dark or light is in a color - is almost always neglected in our design work - and almost always what is most needed. More value contrast!
Thank you, Dena and Lyric, I appreciate your comments. I enjoyed making "Three Bales" and have some sketches I made in my journal that I may translate into a few more quilts with the same theme and style.