Trying to refine a picture is one of the most challenging things to do. I move away from the pattern and use the original photograph to make alterations. The goal is to give the essence of the person in the quilt.

I have made subtle changes to the yellow portrait. This is what I started with:

Amy in process again

This morning, I added deeper color to her eyebrows and the area around her eyes. I also made the eye on the right side smaller since that side of the face is receding away from the viewer.

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I then decided that there was not enough highlight on the right eye in the corner by the nose so I added a lighter color there. I needed deeper shadows in a few places to highlight certain areas so I added deeper color under the chin, in the throat area, and on the right side of the face to give more separation between the face and her hair.

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At this point, the mouth still looked wrong to me. At some point, I had cut away the shadow of the upper lip on the right hand side because it was too deep — but in hindsight, there needed to be some deeper line there to show the full character of the smile. I raised the lip a quarter inch or so and changed the shadow so that it created a crease in its corner.

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I feel very good about the piece at this point.