Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Not Quite Ready

This one's a difficult painting to finish. It looks somewhat naive in style, and is rough and bland, but it's very close to what I planned. But not quite. I've found that if something doesn't look quite right on a painting, I can take a photo and usually see some things right away that need to be reworked. For one thing, the background on the far left needs more depth and color. I also see few stems that I inadvertently painted over. And the three flowers on the right need to be softened around the dark centers. Maybe I'll change a little on the vases, too. I'm not sure.

At first, I painted the background a very bright orange with the intent of letting some of the color show through when all is said and done.

I sort of wish I had left the background alone. Oh well, maybe I can paint another one similar and leave it like this before I go adding layer after layer.

After laying in some color with a brush, I went over the vases and background with a palette knife. And I went over them again... and again. I don't remember how many layers are there! First I had more gray on the left and taupe on the right. But by the time I finished (or nearly finished), the taupe was on the left and gray on the right. I'd seen on an art blog that if the light is coming from the right, make the background on the right darker, and the background on the dark side lighter. This makes the highlights and shadows on the items pop. It isn't as noticeable on this painting since I tried to keep everything fairly neutral.

When you look closer, you can see that some of the flowers nearly blend in with the background. At first, I was going to change that and make them more prominent, but the more I look at it, the better I like it.

Do you have trouble deciding when your work is finished? Do you want to keep adjusting here and there until it's completely reworked? How do you decide when to stop?

Thanks for visiting today!


  1. Lana, I had a long comment typed; I hit "preview" and it got lost. But basically I was saying I LOVE this style and the looseness of the lines. All those things you mentioned----I'm just not seeing that you need them. Compare this new painting with the hydrangeas on the right side of your blog, near the top. Such a different "feel" to the picture. But I'm not a painter and just know what I like when I see it. I'm loving the style of today's picture! Keep up the good work! Janie

    1. Dear Janie, Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting! Yes, I think that's what I like so much about it... the looseness. I do have trouble with that. I love that style, but once I think it's finished, I keep seeing things I think I can fix and it ends up looking contrived. Thanks for the encouragement! :)

  2. Taking a photo of my work also helps me see problems. But also I turn my paintings upside-down to see what's out of whack.

    1. Barb, thank you so much for visiting and for the tip! I think I'd heard of turning a painting upside down but I had forgotten about that. Oh, and I love your artwork! :)