I looked at the piece again and since I moved and redid the top 2 birds, including the far background looks fine. So I may consider this the finished one instead.
For the third piece I'm debating between 2 different layouts. The driftwood is done; I haven't decided on the position of the bird(s). And again there may not be room enough for much of the bird reflection, which was my initial motivation for this whole project!
This is the second piece. Initially I was going to put a sheer on top to give the impression that the anemones are under water, but it didn't work - dulls the anemones too much. So I added some bubbles and call it done.
Having run out of ideas on improving the first piece, I pinged my teacher. As soon as she saw it, she knew right away what was wrong. Her suggestion was to move the center bird over to the right.
The during: (there is of course no way to "move" the bird - it entails stitching another one and then removing the first):
It looks so much better - thanks Laura!! Now I know why I signed up for Challenge with a Twist - the twist - which is teacher advice - definitely helps! The bird is now more visibly the focal point, against the darker sand, and the positions of the three birds are balanced. Yay!! I am happy now.
This year's challenge is a set of 3 related designs. Unlike the Master Craftsman program, there is no "fail" - well there may be, but it doesn't hurt like the MC program. And I can get some feedback for improvements. My three pieces are sea and shore related, as I want to try out some representations of the sea, waves, water and reflection. I painted the background on Dupioni silk:
I decided to cut off the top, as the distant hills make the scale of the foreground all wonky. There are 3 gulls, and two of them are partially reflected on the wet sand. The surf was done with deconstructed flair thread.
Not perfect, but definitely has possibilities. I think if the sea and wet sand were painted darker, it would look better.
I plan to put some rocks on the bottom right to balance the picture.
I have the second piece painted, but have not started on it yet. These are anemones (without the tentacles) among rocks and seaweeds.
Both tail fins are done; and I have to shelf this for a while. I over subscribed myself for the next 6 months: 3 pieces due for EGA Challenge program, and 2 pieces plus paper for the EGA Master Craftsman program Step 5 (almost there!)
Wonder when I'm ever going to get back to Antique Mirrors...sigh..