I’ve always loved before and afters, whether it’s a personal makeover or a living room makeover, but my favorite before and afters are paintings.
At the beginning of this year I did a 30 paintings in 30 days challenge, which was very rewarding, but of course the time was limited, so decisions had to be made, and fast.
Now that I have time I’ve been looking over some of these small 8″x 8″ paintings…what subtle improvements could I make, things that I missed the first time around.
The original painting “Little Swans” could have used a darker mass to anchor the girls. In the after I chose to use a darker version of a green tone already in the scene, the additional dancers liven things up.
In the painting “Saturday at the Dog Park” I asked myself “what is the point of this painting”, my answer; it’s all about the dogs and their owners. In the before, the strong blue shadows overtake everything. The man in the middle floats because his pants are the same value and color as the shadows. In the after I lighten the shadows and totally eliminated the distant ones which pulled my eye right out of the scene. Now it’s easier to see the people and their pets.
There are some small changes here. In the before a red hand comes in at the far left, there isn’t enough of the person to identify that it’s a hand. The same for the leg on the far right, more confusion than help, in telling the story. In the after I eliminated the hand and leg, got rid of too many horizontal lines in the bars, pushed the green in the back wall a little, added some red to the bags on the floor… all little things but they make a big difference.
Why don’t you pull out one of your old paintings for a remodel, you might be surprised at how your judgment has developed and how your problem solving skills have increased.