working out the color value ~ bighorn sheep collage

MarveLes Art StudiosArt and Collage Quilts, Blogs 4 Comments

hi guys {and gals!} ~

thank you for the sweeeeet support on my facebook page!  i’m very grateful, and i’m also excited about this giveaway of my first-ever pattern.  it’s going to be fun to develop a couple more ideas, too.  at least that is my hope!!

in the meantime, here is a photo of how i usually lay out my fabrics for fusing.  the fusible {steam-a-seam2 lite} is underneath, and i’ve laid out the cut sections of fabric on top of it.  one of the keys to successful fusing is to be sure to press this with the hot iron, but just for a few seconds, to “set” the fusible.   the second key to success is letting it cool completely.  that will make peeling off the paper easier.  if it doesn’t.. .then just lightly tap it {again} with your hot iron for a few seconds, wait to cool, and then try peeling the paper off.

the fabrics above were part of the buffalo florals, and some of you have asked me who they are by… i wish i knew myself!  unfortunately, many times the selvedge is removed when you buy the kit because generally you only get a 4-6″ piece.  so i have done lots of searching for fabrics!  my best place to search is  the best way to search is by fabric line if i know it; then by company or designer name. usually that means i’m searching modern fabrics  from companies such as art gallery, westminster, free spirit, and andover.  i’ve found a few that way, at least!  

seen below are a couple designs from art gallery that i have found very helpful in almost all my collage work.  they are neutrals, but can be light or dark values depending on what you put them next to, and their texture, or line design within the flower makes them visually a good choice as well.

“gossamer” by pam holland for art gallery fabrics seen above in two different colors; taupe and gray

i hope that helps a little bit? 

onto mr. bighorn! uhh.. those horns.  i came down with a head cold last week, so i’m blaming that on my less than appealing design decisions!  lol.  left overnight, i knew by the next morning they all had to come off… it just didn’t have enough any dramatic appeal! and the prominence of the horns was sadly lacking. {i’m thankful to my husband who gives me honest feedback, too!}. 

so…keep those fusible papers handy, so you can re-stick your flowers back on them… fyi.

and it came to me in the middle of the night, and i knew what  needed to be done. or at least i hoped. they would be all pink.  


pink horns? really?  i wasn’t sure, but since i had them  in lots of shades and texture of pink, coral, peach… they seemed to work, and i started building.

but what about the contrast on the curl part of the horns?  well.  i went with blues.  now at least now there is a contrast ~ vital to the overall design.  and this is why.  because the curl of the horns is one of the most recognizable characteristics of a bighorn sheep, and without that distinction… the design is a flop, in my view.  i was trying to keep them neutral with cream tones and dark browns, but it just didn’t work.  

so i went bold and pink.  and blue!

{and i knew i needed to rework those eyes, too}  ugh.  kinda scary, i think.

notice that i added small bits of florals above, {these are the “millefiori” from the kaffe fassett fabrics}.

much better.  the horns and eyes still need a little tweaking.  one of the other factors that is somewhat interesting, is that a bighorn sheep horn has lots of linear texture that go across the horns, and so i did my best to select florals that had a lot of line texture. here’s a photo from google images that i used as slight reference.  {notice the heart shaped nose!}

 and at least i had a good selection of pre-cut floral motifs that had that texture {at least in my creative world}, and i think it works.  best of all, i really like it!  

a little more contrast is needed; perhaps additions of smaller flowers used in the horns to tie the whole design together… but i’m a lot closer.  

also he needs a hint of  tail… and although i chose to draw him laying down, the large white tail area is another feature i would like to include, or at least allude to.  so i’ll be working on that before finally fusing and then quilting mr. bighorn.

soli deo gloria!

Comments 4

  1. It's so interesting to hear the process of your color choices to give it dimension and personality……he is turning out just beautifully !!!! I can't even begin to count the hors I have spent searching for fabric for these quilts…oh my !!! I LOVE the background choices Laura used for Oh, Deer so I had to track that down…my Fox is different but I like how it worked….my "Rocky" will be much different than yours simply due to the color choice of the trees available….but I think that's what makes these so fun and each unique. If you would like to see pic's I would be happy to email them .
    These are so addicting !

  2. He is gorgeous ! I see what you mean about the pink horns, but I think the tan/brown ones would have worked too. His eyes are perfect ! They look just like a goat/sheep…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *