This is a image I’ve had for at least seven years, in fact it was painted once before.
It’s fun to come back and see how your eye for design has changed. The first time around I saw it as ; lacking color contrast (in the flesh tones) and having a weak composition.
The key is to simplify and exaggerate. Keying in on the simple shapes means grouping things together, even if they don’t look like anything, that might be alright or they may morph into something that is recognizable later.
I chose a square format and starting with anchoring dark shapes to the top and bottom, focusing on a triangular design. It’s always good to have the center of interest attached to an edge so that it doesn’t appear to float in the space.
At this point it’s more about deciphering the light condition. This took place in a large rehearsal room with lots of overhead lights plus more light coming in large windows. No wonder things appeared washed-out, but looking closer reveals how the light is showing the form, like on the top plane of her back.
All that clutter on the right is reduced to a violet patch of color.
Here, all the areas have been generally massed in and decisions need to be made.
- First, do I want to bring back some of the information in the background? Yes, it will help with the story to give some clues about her surroundings.
- Is there anything that doesn’t help the story or composition? Yes, her distant arm bend is a tangent with the foreground hand and shoe she’s holding. Speaking of the shoe, it doesn’t read well as a shoe, could I edit the shape to make it more shoe like?
I like that arm outstretched more, plus the shoe and distant ballet information simplified!