Saturday, July 9, 2016


Ever revisit your older paintings? Not surprising, but I have a LOT of paintings hanging in my home. Some I painted many years ago. As I have learned a few more things over the years, sometimes they just bug me because I see so many things I could have done better. So I either hide them away or revisit them :) I finish my paintings with a thin coat of gloss medium, so I can just wipe the dust off and go back in and change whatever I'd like!

Here is the offending painting. Pretty sure I painted it about 6 or 7 years ago.

The first thing I do is make a list of the things that are bothering me.

1. Too Dark!!! So one of the hardest things to remember about acrylic painting is that the paint dries darker than when it is wet. So most of my early paintings are too dark. And some of my recent ones too!

2. Shadows are even Darker!!
And one of the hardest things to remember about painting from Photos is that they make the shadows even darker and you lose all the detail and interest in the shadow. While the strong contrast on the front cow is a little interesting, it is was overdone. It makes it hard to connect with the painting because you can't see his face and eyes.

3. The light is incongruous. Another big lesson I've learned - decide on your light source, direction and intensity and stick too it! I'm showing a mostly cloudy sky here, and then a strong side light from what looks like a late afternoon sun. But not evidence of it in the background trees.

4. Oh, and those background trees. Almost all the same value, color and detail. They just blend into each other and don't give us a sense of depth or 3 dimension.

5. The barns are okay, but there is a problem with their perspective. They just look wonky.

6. Big boring expanse of grass. Nuff said.

So.... Here is my rework:

 I think I covered all my issues. Better? I'm happier anyway, and I won't mind seeing it on my wall now. Unless of course it finds a new  home :)

I think it has more of a happy, contented feel to it now. Which was my experience of this place. The original was more dark and brooding and that cow was scaring me a bit :) This one is much more friendly I think.

It is 16" x 20" acrylic on canvas. $270 framed. Available in my Etsy shop or locally directly from me.

 Ready to your own revisiting and test what you have learned? Sometimes I don't do the actual repainting, I just make my list....  It can be very enlightening!

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