|'Knee Deep in Poppies' 8x10 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
purchase painting $125
Sometimes the chosen course is not a good one. The concept just doesn't work. What can we do with a painting gone astray? I usually do one of three things.
|The painting began with an oil stain underpainting with my concept an intimate crop|
of a meadow filled with poppies. I didn't like it.
The idea I wanted for the painting was to do an intimate crop of a poppy field. It wasn't working. It seemed like a jumble of colors with no focus. I tried scraping and dusting and adding more grasses but the more I added the worse it became. (That is often the case) So I did some of my favorite salvage tricks and ended up with a painting that had a different concept but which pleased me more.
1. The first thing I did was wipe the painting down. I just took my finger and blended everything. I didn't want to remove a lot of pastel but I wanted to calm some of the busyness I had created. Now I could look at the big shapes and figure out how to make it more interesting.
2. The second thing I did was spray the painting with workable fixative. I had filled up a lot of the tooth of the paper already so in order to give me more tooth to work with I decided to spray it. In this case I was not careful with my spray application on purpose. I wanted drips and dribbles.
Now I am left with basically a toned surface with hints of poppies. I decided it need to have some depth and air. So I put in some distant trees and sky. Ahhhh much better! (see photo at top for the finished painting)
3. Usually wiping down a painting or spraying it with fixative is enough to give me a chance to reassess my concept and come up with a new plan. What is the third thing I try? Some may say that is to Throw the painting in the trash. That works. Remove the failed painting and move on. I am usually too stubborn to do that. I don't like a painting to get the best of me but it is a good option if it allows you to get back to the easel with a fresh start!