Painting Changes

Sometimes I finish a painting, and for whatever reason, I just don’t like it.  What attracted me to the composition (which is what usually gets me started) is either no longer working for me, or I’ve done too much or not enough to emphasize what was most important.

On this recent painting from my May 3rd post, Reading the Newspaper, I just wasn’t real fond the finished work.  I still like the composition, the shapes of the shadow patterns, the repeated diagonals are interesting, strong cast shadows implying form.  However, I think I got too stuck in the details.  The specifics of the hands, the fabric patterns, the body proportions …. Just too much that doesn’t work kills it (for me, at least).

So, my love of this composition (and of newspapers) forces me to try it again with The Latest Edition.  (Don’t mind the blue reflections upper right; not the best photograph.)  Still not quite sure if it’s really done, but I know I like it better so far.  Actually, now that I’m looking again, I’ll be adding a little bit to the steps to ground them a little more. Don’t be shy, let me know your preferences or if you think I’m way off base!

Reading the Newspaper (old one)


The Latest Edition
oil on gallery-wrapped canvas

sm 09 Latest Edition (c) TracyWall


About Tracy Wall

I'm an artist and massage therapist living in Denver, Colorado.
This entry was posted in Creative Process, Figures, My Art, Painting and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Painting Changes

  1. Con says:

    I liked the old and like this new edition, too. The color on the steps really warms it up, I can almost feel the sunshine. For me, the first one feels almost wintry and the new one like summer.

    I love reading the papers, but now only get a weekly mountain paper of 8 or 10 pages. I read news online, but there’s none of the feeling of a real paper on the porch.

  2. I agree about a paper paper.

    Maybe put something red in his shirt pocket. Once, long ago, one of my University painting instructors gave a tiny lecture about how a touch of red, burnt sienna included as a ‘red’, in the middle of a painting can pull the whole thing together. Studying Winslow Homer, most of his compositions have this ‘trick’, and you’ll see it everywhere else, too.

    You know you’re in danger of taking this one too far! lol.

    Ok, good painting. And I like both, also.

    (Hi, Con!)

  3. Oh, looking a little more, is his forhead in the sun, like his nose?

    And you could play with the back lighting, using a different color.

    And the shadows on the bright part of the steps, are they the right intensity?

    Oh. No!



  4. Tracy says:

    I always appreciate feedback, though I know what I’m looking to say in a piece. I guess I am looking less for a specific critique, and more fore a general impression as to which was more effective to your eye. (I also know I need to work on my photography skills to get the correct image!) Thank you both for your candor!

  5. Con says:

    More effective to my eye? I revisited both editions.
    I switched rapidly back and forth between your May post and this one to see the same size image and found I love the new edition a high speed. I like the highlights hand and nose against the dark background, all the converging shapes. Still the feeling of sunshine and paper to hand. Less is more.

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