This is part two of Developing the Idea, view part one here.
The image on the right is after, what I call “the first pass”. Instead of looking at the subject I’m more interested in how the eye is moving through the painting. So I evaluate the shapes.
1. There are three parallel edges that make up her arm, the light falling on the arm and her dress. This is boring, I’ll get rid of one of these by using color instead of value to define the light falling on her arm.
2. This edge on the lower right of her dress is weak, am going to straighten it a bit.
3. I want to emphasis this sweeping edge so I need to push back her left arm and shirt by making them darker to move toward the background more.
4. Her hair at her forehead needs to be adjusted, directing the eye in more of a horizontal motion across her head.
You can see the changes I’ve made. This is the point I stop and take a long hard look at where I am and where I want to be.
This is when it’s of great benefit to know what you like. What I’m talking about is what attracts you to other paintings? This is a very personal thing, the more you’re in tune to this the stronger your work will be.
Below are “my feelings” about this image;
She is too literal, I need more interesting hard edges to make the image bolder.
The color is too warm overall, cooler images appeal to me more.
I want more contrast, and movement, so lightening and cooling the sky is a good choice, also add more blues in the grass. Using a variety of lines; rough, smooth, long and short at the edges to get some interesting movement.
I think about the possibilities; I would love to make the bucket old and rusty …. but….I would have to sacrifice the interest of the shiny texture against the rough texture of her apron…in the end my decision is not to change it. But the idea is, to consider all the possible choices you have.
Since I’m going back to her hair, a simple sketch helps me to design her hair with the purpose of moving the eye across it in a intentional direction.
After these adjustments the image below is the final painting “Keeping’ It Real”.
In the final image notice how the original warm wash is still showing through in some areas, just enough to add a slight vibration and texture richness.