This is the third part of Moving Toward the Story. Many times when a finished painting is framed and on the wall I see there’s more to be done. One factor is the frame. It adds two horizontals and two verticals to the design, which can affect things. This happened with Pure Americana. Below left is the original finished version and on the right the framed painting with the changes I made to it. Can you spot at least 8 things that are different?
Below is the before image with numbers and explanations on why I added or deleted something.
- 1. The right side of her hat is not in shadow anymore, it was too severe but more importantly it pulled the eye upward, not where I wanted it to go.
- 2. I had to get rid of the blue mountains, even though I liked them. They created a visual weight pushing down on her. This is another example of a horizontal that wasn’t working.
- 3. Because she has little visible face I felt the need to develop a softer texture in her hair , there was too much tension in it.
- 4. I added the lace pattern on the top of her blouse, again, I felt she needed some softness.
- 5. I cut down the underside of her arm, another horizontal that looked a little too heavy.
- 6. Cut down the top of the arm also.
- 7. Got rid of the shadow on the edge of her hat, didn’t really want your eye traveling down that line.
- 8. Made her nose a little smaller and lowered the value slightly, it was just too strong in that sea of shadow.
- 9. Brought the sky all the way out to the edge. The red on the upper edges of the sides was leading the eye up and out of the painting.
It’s never too late to change something in a painting as long as the freshness isn’t lost.