Saturday, June 29

Changing Directions

Painting in progress - mixed media acrylic.
Sometimes there is a piece of art that I'm working on that just isn't going as I would like. The process might flow along, but there is just an 'essence' to the piece that is missing. An emotion or a feeling that I want the painting to emit to the viewers. For me, this will eventually lead to me not working on the painting and having it sit in the corner collecting dust until I can figure out a new game plan.
Luckily, for my red-haired girl, I had a sudden 'light-bulb' moment yesterday on how I wanted to continue. It was a major, major change in direction from where I started. I was initally thinking a happy girl with a wreath of flowers in her hair, spilling out...but after working on it awhile, and fiddling with the painting a lot - it just wasn't working for me, especially in the face. I knew that I still had many layers to go, and that it might still turn out how I wanted, but it was no longer a direction that I felt I could carry this painting to. 
The painting before I changed directions
So, last night - after pondering my new painting-plan and direction - I took the major leap of completely painting over the face. All I left were remements of the mouth, and the lower part of the nose, which I adjust both later. But I painted away the eyes, and all shading, and then started anew.

It might have seemed a little drastic, but I needed a fresh start to the face. And yes, it was chancy (if that's even a word, hehe). I could have not been able to illustrate what I wanted to in the new face, and had lost all my previous painting labours on the old face. And I thought long and hard about that. It was truely an artist's gamble. But then, I decided that I knew I didn't like the current face and that I was pretty confident that I would not be able to bring that face, in it's current state, to a point that I was going to be pleased with.

But isn't that what is so great about paint? If you don't like something, just paint right over and start fresh. I'm sure tons of artists out there have done that, and I know when I was a 'fresh' artist, I was always skeptical about it...but it makes you commit to an idea; and it makes you grow and gain confidence in your decisions as an artist. (Or, so I feel).

So now I have a more realistic, and less illustrative, painting. The brush strokes are way more loose and a lot more painterly, which is what I prefer. I think getting caught up with trying to fix something that I wasn't happy with made my painting just too 'tight' with the other piece. There is still tons of work to do on her, but - for the most part - I know what steps and which direction I am taking.

Have you ever completely reworked a painting, or painted over part of a painting to make it work better? Did it turn out?

1 comment:

  1. I love your "new" painting. The new face is so expressive.


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