9/4/08

SeE ThE DiFFeReNcE?

While living with this painting (below on the left) for a couple of days, I kept asking myself questions like, 'does anything get undo attention?' or 'does anything jump out at me that shouldn't?' I finally determined that there were seven specific areas to adjust.

Though the changes were minor, they made a difference in the outcome. The larger picture on the right includes the final changes.

First change - some very diluted Cobalt Blue was charged into the bigger orange panel. Even though I hated to part with the glorious textures on that panel, as soon as I glazed it, I could see it get knocked back where it belonged.

Next, part of the top orange panel was darkened with Transparent Pyrrol Orange and Pyrrol Red. The darker value helped suggest the change in direction which the umbrella makes where the spokes bend and angle upwards.

Using both Cobalt Blue and Transparent Pyrrol Orange, I subdued all but about five of the white dots. Doing that seemed to add some needed movement to the picture. I'd previously toned part of them down, but hated to part with too much of the white of the paper. However, the red had been so bossy that it took over everything, and toning down the powerful 'whiteness' of the dots helped alleviate the strength of the red.

The glow of the deck is my favorite part of the painting. I think that with the adjustments to the dots and orange panels, the red umbrella is now less demanding, allowing the eye to move easily around the rest of the painting.

The bottom of the handle on the red umbrella didn't quite seem to be touching the deck, so there are a few edge and shadow adjustments in that area. A slightly lighter value was also added to the under side of the steel bar going up into that umbrella so that it didn't look so wimpy. It's so nice with transparent fluid acrylics to be able to add a lighter value when it's needed - something that's way more complicated to do in transparent watercolor.

The next adjustment was on two parts of the deck. Very diluted Quinacridone Burnt Orange was painted in a small part of the really white deck area above the top notch post of the red umbrella. Then, the crack between the boards to the left of the handle of that umbrella was widened slightly.

The only other change was in the upper right hand corner where a darker wedge was added to create a 'push' down into the picture where the bluish umbrellas overlap. Edges in that area were melded together a bit so they weren't so important.

Small changes can help tweak a painting. In the past, the danger for me has been to overdo the tweaking process, causing my painting to loose freshness. I've thrown away far too many paintings that would've been okay if I hadn't tried to perfect them so much.

It's taken years, but I've finally quit trying to make a painting perfect. A great quote by Michael J. Fox was the ultimate thing that made me stop over tweaking. He said, "I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence, I can reach for; perfection is God's business."

A very special thanks go to Jude, Sandy, and Bob, who used their expert eyes to help spot some of the needed adjustments. And thank you, Almighty GOD, for making painting so much fun, for giving me the chance to be an artist.

The painting is finally signed and completed, and I'm on to the next one. It's of two giant pigeons, and it's the biggest painting I've ever attempted. More later.

7 comments:

Dawn said...

I loved the new painting, but of course could not tell why. thank you for the excellant lesson. Cant wait to see the pigeons!

RHCarpenter said...

All the changes you made come from a master's eye and mind - I would have left it alone! ha ha But now there are subtle things that make this more finished - more a work of art and not just a painting. Well done.
But, as Carol Burnett says, "Here, pidgee pidgee!" Waiting for them to show up soon.

Vicki Greene said...

Thank you for showing us all of the fine tuning details and for giving credit where credit is due.

Joan Sandford-Cook said...

Wonderfully informative post and stunningly vibrant images. Look forward to seeing the huge pigeons. What size do you mean?? I go up to 36 inch lengths by various widths max 24 x 36 - but I expect you mean bigger than this.

Sandy said...

..... I still like the original too... but now... deeply richer in color.

Cathy Gatland said...

Wow, this is a gorgeous painting and so interesting to read how it came about, and your subtle finishing touches - I would have left it as is, but they really do make a difference. Love the deck, and the explanation how to do that. Thanks for sharing all this!

Lisalou said...

Wow! What a wonderful lesson! So nice of you to take the time to share that!
Lisa