I LOVE talking about blocks, studying blocks, and playing with them in Photoshop... I am always on a quest for great blocks and trying to figure out what makes them so great ... So I started this companion blog that will be devoted to this quest. But also check out my regular blog at http://olderrose.blogspot.com

Monday, July 28, 2014

Two cents for Brenda

This is where Brenda is at with her cottage block and she is hoping to hide the white sky with her tree...but the tree is overwhelming the cottage.

Without the big tree you can see the problem with the sky.  It is white because the painting was scanned to silk and the blue sky just disappears on the silk...  Without the tree you can see the dilemma with the sky...

I can certainly identify with this problem because I had the exact same situation with my cottage but it was a relatively easy fix... My block came home like this.

But I just separated the cottage from the foundation and cut around the roof (leaving a 1/2" seam allowance), folded it forward and put in a new sky on the foundation and folded the roof back and folded  the seam allowance under and stitched the roof down...  Mine is still a UFO in the foreground and is waiting patiently...

So if Brenda fixed her sky the same way and added lots of green foliage to frame the house, her block would be like this...

At this point I would like to mention something else... Unless the colors are really saturated on the original image, the silk fabric result is faded and dull.  So I went back in with just inexpensive colored pencils and brightened the colors of my cottage  a lot.  I would recommend Brenda do the same...making the shadows and windows darker and heightening all the details.  Otherwise it will look washed out against  the floral fabrics...

I loved Brenda's little red tree and think she should put it in again BUT behind the fence and next to the house... The flowers from the house outward along the path need to be larger compared to the size of the shrubbery at the base of the house.

There were problems when both trees were there before.  Besides overwhelming the house they paralleled each other which did nothing for either tree and the large tree needs to be grounded.  I really want the lovely little red tree to have its own space.

And as Judith Montano says, a tree in the foreground really adds dimension. But now it can be moved to the side and not have to hide the white sky and the little red tree is framed by the large tree and the house. ... The large tree really needed  proper roots to ground it.  Seeing both trees adjacent to each other really add dimension..

But other things can be added to the front for dimension also... like a stone wall, arbor, fence, bird bath or bird house.

So Brenda has a fabulous start and it was just the sky that was thwarting her efforts.  It will be a real gem when done...  Thanks Brenda for letting me play a bit with it..

So that's my
for Brenda
And it's been a long time since I did one...


  1. Your blog posts are SO informative - thank you for sharing your knowledge!

  2. how interesting reading about this play on Brenda`s piece, you certainly solved the sky problem on yours very nice.

  3. Your posts here are always so interesting. I appreciate your knowledge for how to make the eye flow around a block. I also like the way you mark over blocks with suggestions on how it might be corrected or changed.