Many times when painting a subject from life there just isn’t enough time to finish, or quality control starts to diminish when “artist fatigue” sets in.
The next day, back in the studio, armed with some photos, one taken a little overexposed to see what’s happening in the shadows and one underexposed to see what’s happening in the lightest areas, it’s time to take a hard look. This is one of the greatest ways to develop a keener eye.
So, how do I take it further? Writing down what I like so far;
- The strong sense of light on her face, an almost stark quality
- The composition
Now, what could elevate this, if I saw a more advanced version of this painting at an art show, what is it that would make me stop and look?
- Correct any drawing/value problems that would take away from the whole
- Work the edges to lead the eye around the painting and not distract
- Play up the texturesI began in the studio at this point-
After taking it further with the changes below-
- her left hand and right hands- needed reshaping and softening
- her left arm, take the value lighter and reshape
- her knee, not in the right place
- chin, a little more pointed
Opportunities for texture
- highlight on her headband
- shine on her dress
- fur and sparkles on coat, right side
- background needs a little more chroma
- work items on table for more interest
In the beginning when trying to “taking it further” it may seem hard to spot what you need to do, but keep looking with a critical eye and you will soon develop a knack for seeing which direction to take.