I did get the dark side assembled in the past week though. After being unhappy with how much blending there was between the trunk and the background, I replaced a bunch of the pieces of background right next to the trunk with pieces that were darker and had less pattern. I also tried using Shiva Painststicks for the first time. If you've never used them, they're like a cross between an oil paint and a crayon. You can draw or dab or blend with them, but they don't drip. I got a beige one at a LQS while we were in Denver with the goal of lightening the edge of the trunk (in combination with darkening the edge of the background. I also finished the bottom section and worked on the lake some more since I didn't like the purply bits in the middle (it's supposed to feel like a reflection of the sky).
Here's where I left off last week.
Here's what it looks like now. Much better I think.
On these two close-ups you can see the effect of the paintstick. In each picture the two arrows are pointing to identical pieces of fabric, only the piece on the right has had some beige paintstick applied to lighten it.
I've still got all the pins in it so I can look at it and mull it over to see whether I think any more pieces should be moved or replaced before I fuse it all together. I tell you what, it sure uses a lot of pins! Do any of the pieces look out-of-place to you guys? Here are the two sides together. I love the way they look side-by side. Such a dramatic difference; just what I was going for. It's too bad you won't ever see them this way displayed.
I'm headed out-of-town again tomorrow, hopefully all will go smoothly.