I know I'm not the only artist who has to live with a piece for awhile before the final edits are done. The wonderful thing about painting gouache (opaque watercolors) on top of a smooth paper covered with gesso (a white paint mixture consisting of a binder mixed with chalk, gypsum, pigment) is that the paint can be easily removed and reworked weeks or months later.
Here is Blue Moon Heron as I published it a couple of weeks ago.Since that time, I've lived with it and I've had some feedback from other artists. Hence, some changes have been made. Remember, nothing should be so precious on a painting that it can't be sacrificed for the betterment of the piece.
- The yellow and green mountains from my original sketch are a distraction from the strength of the composition. They had to go.
- The largest orb behind the heron had to be larger to avoid an awkwardness on the left side where the dark and beige meet and the heron's beak almost hits the edge of the moon.
- And my "happy accident" of the red bleeding into the blue of the far wing was too distracting to viewers.
The image below shows the simplification of the piece. I think the changes greatly improve the painting, but It's still not finished. The final issue is to help the upper band of the painting relate to the rest of the painting more definitely. For this, I added some blue to the upper part of the piece and did a bit of calligraphic work to relate to the line work in the bottom of the painting. I also softened some of the hard edges on the forward wing to make the head of the bird more clearly the focal point. You can see the final edits in the 3rd image.