Large Autumn Landscape – Adding Leaves

Large Autumn Landscape – Adding Leaves

I have been continuing to make progress with my large autumn landscape.

Autumn colored nuno felted background with silk paper birch trees, stitched branches and set up with thread, scissors, cut out silk leaves and reference photo.

I began by looking for silk fabric in the correct colors. I found a yellow orange and a yellow green. But I needed a lighter mid yellow. I didn’t have that in silk fabric but I remembered some rice paper that I had painted yellow and coated with matte medium. I could use that for leaves too. To prevent the silk leaves from fraying as much, I ironed a light weight fusible to the back side of the fabric. Then I cut out a variety of leaf shapes. The secret to making leaves look more natural is just cut them out freely by hand. The shapes will be all different and the sizes won’t be exactly the same but that is what you want. I found a photo online to give me an idea on how the leaves should look and used that for inspiration.

Autumn colored nuno felted background with silk paper birch trees, stitched branches and silk fabric leaves partially stitched in place.

When I was stitching the leaves down, I wanted some movement and the feeling of the leaves about to fall. Therefore, I only stitched them down with one or two straight stitches. This allowed the fabric leaf to come out from the background and be more three dimensional.

Autumn colored nuno felted background with silk paper birch trees, stitched branches and stitching more silk fabric leaves.

Cutting and stitching individual leaves takes a bit of time but I liked the result.

Autumn colored nuno felted background with silk paper birch trees, stitched branches and silk fabric leaves.

Here’s the piece after adding leaves. I may add a few more in a couple of places but I am evaluating now to see what else the piece might need. I haven’t cut off the bottom edge but I will be doing that shortly. I could add fallen leaves at the base of the background trees. Or I could add a bit of grass here and there. Or I could leave it alone. What’s your vote?

My idea for a name for this one is “Calling Down from the Branches”.

18 thoughts on “Large Autumn Landscape – Adding Leaves

  1. The leaves look really good – just the right colours – and that’s a nice tip about the cutting out.

    Vote for grass. Perhaps adding leaves to the bottom of the picture might detract from the beauty of those on the trees. Maybe trial it without stitching first?

    1. Thanks Ladies, the fusible really helps to make cutting out such small pieces easier. I have done a couple of trials, but you will have to wait and see my final choice 😉

  2. That looks beautiful Ruth, I agree that those colours are perfect. I think the addition of a few leaves at the bottom would work well. Even one or two in mid flight to highlight the movement? Lisa

    1. Thanks Lisa! I am working out the final bits but the idea of one or two leaves in mid flight is a good one.

  3. I really like the leaves, they have become the focal point. I don’t think any on the ground. Maybe some grass or small dogwood with the background trees to make the bases less in focus but I don’t think you want to move the focus from the leaves.

    1. Thanks Ann, the leaves do make a nice focal point. Still working on the base but I will show it in my next post, hopefully, the last one.

  4. So lovely Ruth. The leaves are just right too, and I think fallen leaves, or a ‘fallen’ branch with leaves? But, yes leaves on the ground would be lovely.

    1. Thanks Marie, I am probably going with fallen leaves. They haven’t been attached yet but it’s my favorite that I tried. More to come!

  5. The colour you’ve chosen for the leaves is perfect & manually cutting them out then simple stitching to create the 3D effect is inspired.

    I agree with Ann that the leaves have become a focal point. They soften the branches. In line with the leaves, perhaps you could soften the base of your trees….I feel they need to emerge from the ground, rather than ‘floating’ on top, so grass might be the solution.

    1. Thanks Antje, the 3D effect of the leaves came out just as I wanted. I am leaning toward softening the bottoms of the trees with leaves. I didn’t care for the grass as it felt “artificial”.

    2. Just a thought….
      The tree trunks are made of silk paper – could you apply a needle to their base & shred them a bit to aid their ‘merging’. Needs to be trialled on a practice piece first.
      I prefer the idea of leaves at the base too, particularly as it would emphasise the ‘falling’ leaves. Also colour wise it would bring the focus back toward the centre of your piece.

      ….just thinking out loud 🤪

  6. This is coming along beautifully. Before you added more leaves, the only things that jarred with me were the dark branch on the leaning tree, which looked as if it was attached to rather than growing out of the trunk, and the “floating” trees that Antje mentions. You’ve solved the first one by placing the leaves over the join. As for the second, I would go for both, grass and leaves, or grass, leaves and the lichen you do so well. I can see the tips of leaves sticking out from grass stems and perhaps resting on lichen.
    I like your title for the picture too.

    1. Thanks Ann, I was confused when you were talking about the leaning tree. That is actually a large branch coming off the large foreground tree. But yes, the dark branch attachment was definitely jarring. I will show how I solved the floating trees with my next post.

  7. Leaves and grass down the bottom would definitely give it depth and make it come alive. Beautiful work

  8. Perfect leaf colours, Ruth! That idea of keeping them 3D is genius.

    I vote for some leaves on the floor, their colour tells me some have already left the main branch, so not having any to draw the eye down seems… “wrong” to me 🙂

    1. Thanks Leonor! I agree about the leaves. You will see how I handled the ground in my next post but it definitely involves leaves 😉

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