Many painters I know paint the same painting or composition over one or more times. These artists usually feel they can improve the piece by making minor changes--a neater wash, a better likeness in a portrait, a stronger contrast, etc. That approach is not my M.O., so you might ask why I chose to "redo" a painting from one media to another.
There are two main reasons. First, each painting competition has a different list of requirements for a painting to be eligible for their jurying process. There are a number of competitions that accept transparent watercolor exclusively. The second reason to recreate a picture is the fun of a good challenge. How can I paint a collage look without putting different papers on the painting? How can I create different textures?
With Convocation and Convocation II (below) I was motivated to come up with a transparent watercolor painting for the upcoming Watercolor Society of Oregon's Fall Show which requires a transparent piece.
Pros: The contrasts in the transparent piece are more dramatic. I like the sprayed background better than the streaked effect. The herons are technically better painted. The simplified grasses fit the painting better in my eyes.
Cons: I could not recreate the lovely qualities of the lacy upper connector in the mixed media piece with transparent watercolor, working with ink to do calligraphy is much easier than doing it with transparent watercolor. Most importantly, I do not get the "rush" of creation with a second piece. It is a much more technical process. More a "how to" than a "what if" experience.
Convocation II, Transparent Watercolor
22 in. x 18 in.
In the two heron pieces below, I was motivated by the challenge of taking a small mixed media piece and turning it into a large painting with the same excitement the first piece had without using other papers.
Pros: The second piece has a better designed bird, with nicer lines and subtleness. The painting on paper creates a cohesiveness much harder to render with collage. The transparent piece has made it into a couple of shows and has won an award. I could not have thought up Rogue Heron, I needed Take Off to produce the second version.
Cons: The dynamic force of collage is hard to obtain in transparent watercolor. There is a lot of lifting and carefully paining around areas to create the look of collage with t/w. And, again, it is not the same thrill of creating that I get the first time out.