Sunday, February 1, 2015

With a Little Help from my Friends and More Niggling

Before            Life Cycle Imperative #6       After
30 x 22
Watercolor
After my first little bit of a love affair with LCI #6, I saw some things that were less than perfect. I consulted with 2 excellent artist friends, Kathy Tiger and LaVonne Tarbox Crone, and took their advice in 3 areas. See if you agree with the critiques and the adjustments.


  • In my excitement and enthusiasm for creating the rocks dancing in light, it was overdone. The rocks competed with the true story of this piece, which is about the salmon and the eggs. The solution was to tone down some of the rocks and soften more edges. Do you see how the rocks now enhance the salmon eggs rather than cause the eye to bounce around back and forth?
  • The eggs needed just a bit more depth in color, so a wash of a transparent yellow pigment gave them a richer orange tone that compliments the reds in the salmon, and reduces the pink.
  • The salmon in the back had a muddy tone, which I found unattractive and amateurish looking. Also the half fish on the far left had an indistinct lower body. Although it is scary to lift off paint with a sponge, when there is so much dark color to be careful of, but that is exactly what I had to do. I lifted off the muddy colors to put on a layer of a fresh pigment of the red/orange. Can you see that the murkiness has become brighter and more in keeping with the rest of the painting?
Now that these improvements have been made, I feel this is a truly finished work. And as much as I drag my heels to spend so much time on one piece, I do think this one was worth it. Lessons are learned with each painting and I am still a humble student.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Looking good. LV

Anonymous said...

Much better :)

Rach

Sandra Neary said...

Interesting transformation. There's a lifting technique involving placing the entire painting in a tub of cold water and using a soft brush to remove excess pigment or make minor corrections. Nice job!