You've heard the phrase "happy accident," I'm sure. Well, painters use it quite frequently, because:
a. sometimes we lose control of the brush and/or the medium and the looseness adds a more interesting parts to a painting
b. working with water, wet paint, etc. leads to drips and smears and other accidental things happening in the process of painting.
Blue Moon Heron (mostly complete)
I took Blue Moon Heron to a critique group the other day, wanting the most nit-picky comments as I intended to enter it in a competition. The best way to see what can be improved is often to see it through the eyes of other artists. One of the suggestions was to add more reds to the underwing of the forward wing. The image above was taken after I played with the red on the wing.
The other comment was about the big gold moon shape--was it too streaky? are the shadowy parts centered? should it be a flat color? As I messed around with the golds near the head and wing, a smear of the wet, red paint from the inner wing landed in the gold between the head and wing.
The smear was relaxed, unintended and a true "happy accident." It led me to see that adding calligraphic marks to the painting in that area would unify and connect the upper and lower parts of the painting. The added marks would de-emphasize the solid orb.
I edited the painting yesterday, photographed it this morning when the rain let up for awhile, and sent it off for the juror's eyes. See the final image below.