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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Revisiting a BAD Painting after 10 Years!

'A Wonderful World'                19x25               pastel               ©Karen Margulis
available $350

Do you save your old paintings? I mean the really old ones?  I probably wouldn't have saved so many old (bad) painting but I have an unused room that has been my art storage. There is plenty of room so I have all the old paintings piled up! Every once in awhile I pull one and see what I can do to make it better. It is a great way to make you think and apply what you have learned over the years of study and practice!

This weekend I took out a big painting that I had done back in 2005 when I first started painting. It was probably one of my first big paintings. It had good bones but it definitely needed some help to bring it to life!

Have a look at the original and see what you would do to make it better. Now scroll up to the refreshed paintings to see the changes I made. What did I do? (answers below)

The original painting before I refreshed it.
  • Overall the painting was too spotty and dull. The dark areas in the grasses were too random and spotty. There was no sense of light even though I had painted shadows on the sand. I DID NOT brush anything off. I just went into the painting with stronger and bolder marks.These marks went right over the existing layers. 
  • The first thing I did was to connect the dark shapes and simplify the grass marks and shapes. I used more green to unify all of the spots of color. 
  • I then redid the shadows by adding a darker sand color with a bit of blue from the sky (see Patreon for in-depth study of shadows) 
  • I added brighter/lighter sand in the sunlit areas. I pushed the pastel hard to make thick and confident marks. I had nothing to lose here so I just went for it!
  • I lightened the sky and the clouds.
  • I added the hint of a wave and softened the sea color.
  • I repainted the wispy sea oats so they didn't look like dark stiff sticks in the ground. I wanted them to blow in the breeze.

A close up of the new marks

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