Tuesday, February 23, 2010

'Myakka Afternoon'... Some revisions.

After thinking that this one was done, I took a longer look at it and talked to my other 'critical eye', Kami, for input. We both decided that the foreground was too busy, that it acted as a barrier to entry into the focal area of the painting, the palms and then into the distance. It's a good thing to have a trusted artist close by who you respect and know will give you an unbiased, honest opinion about your work. Kami is that for me, I am that for her. When we both agree that something is off, whether her painting or mine, I know it needs some serious thought. After I resigned myself to the fact that this area would need to be worked again, the painting sat for some time while I finished up some other work... and for me to think about it.

Below is the "finished" painting before the changes...


'Myakka Afternoon'... Before the rework...

I prefer not to ruin the rest of the painting by what I am about to do to it... that is...to fix it! In light of that profound idea, I like to use acetate to work the problem out on first. I tape a piece large enough to cover the area that needs fixing, and then to paint the fix on it. I don't spend a lot of time at this, just enough time to get an idea of what to do when I pull the acetate off and work on the actual painting. Because the camera does strange things, I actually took a picture of the acetate fix, corrected it in Photoshop, then viewed it on the iMac screen and used that as my guide. Mainly because you can't really see what you did on the acetate when it comes off of the painting. The paint is 'stingy' and transparent on the acetate, and doesn't show the color like it did against the painting when it was taped on to it.

Here's that photo... All of these pics of the acetate work were handheld... sorry for the blurriness but they're just for the idea of how I do this. The next photos to follow are all of the work on the acetate, except for the last one which is the new revised version of the painting. I only put these up here in case the idea might be of help to anyone who doesn't know about this technique and is wondering what to do to try out a revision on a painting.

The weird reflections are of me taking the pics...


This is how I view the acetate work on the iMac screen.







And the 'final' finished painting... I think.


'Myakka Afternoon' oil on linen, 24x36 © Marc R. Hanson '10

25 comments:

Christine's Arts said...

Absolutely beautiful! I love this painting. Both before and even more after.

Marc R. Hanson said...

Now that comment makes me happy! ;-) Thank you Christine.

thomas w. schaller said...

great to see the sequence marc - and your process - love what you did; looked great before - now uber-great!

Jo Castillo said...

Very nice painting and a great post. I had forgotten about this technique. Thanks for the reminder.

rahina q.h. said...

such an atmospheric painting and the changes did not take that away, it's wonderful!

Eden Compton said...

This was beautiful before the changes but the revised one is even better!

Elizabeth McCrindle said...

Just goes to show that a subtle change can make a good painting great. Beautiful piece :)

Jane Freeman said...

Marc I love this idea of doing the correction that way to test it out. Sort of like Ole and Lena photoshop! Ha! But I love it!!! I could have used that yesterday and am going to think on this because it really is a more natural way of working and so easy to do! Thanks for posting that!

Anonymous said...

Mark,
I see what you mean. After the correction the eye moves to the tree and background more easily than in the original.
But, I do feel the very bottom foreground seems a little unfinished. I don't think you have to bring back any of the bright strokes, but I think it does need a little more suggestive strokes.
Still a great piece.
Brad

Theresa Rankin said...

Aha...so that's how it's done...:)

Theresa Rankin said...

And by the way....both versions worked for me!

Marc R. Hanson said...

Thank you Tom.

Using the acetate makes common sense to me. It's not like you're making exactly what it is the change is to be, but you're able to play around with ideas before jumping into the real deal.

Thanks Jo.

Rahina, thank you. I'm glad you think that. :)

Thanks Eden. :)

I appreciate it Elizabeth. Thank you.

Jane... a lot more technical than Ole and Lena would probably approve of. But it works, so maybe not! Thanks.

Hey Brad... Always appreciative of your critical eye too. ;-) "Unfinished" isn't a word I'd use for that area, and I guess that you might not either if you saw it in person. There's a lot of finish in the area, but it's very close in hue and value, subtle. And it does not show up as more than 'chatter' in the photo. That was the trouble before, too much more in that area and it stops you dead in your tracks and stops movement in. Come on over and take a peek, or better yet, buy it and then decide. If you still want more there, your wish is my command! :-D)) Thanks Brad.

Thanks for both then Theresa! ;-)

Judy P. said...

Thanks for explaining your thought process- it makes for a great lesson. The before was already a beautiful painting, but with the after I feel you have further deepened its scope; talk about fine-tuning!

Jeremy Elder said...

That's an excellent tip - thanks! I like the updated version of the painting - your "Critical eye" was right.

Anonymous said...

Always a danger in commenting on a jpeg.
Looking closer at the enlargement I see the variation, and I assume the values are more distinct IRL.
So "nevermind" :-)

Brad

Jesse said...

I always have a hard time with this sort of thing, because the first place you look is the part that's revised! And when you want to tone down that part it gets in the way of decision making.

Great painting, and interesting process Marc.

Eugene Veszely said...

I'm in the minority I see...

I much prefer the painting before you "fiddled" with it.

I was going to comment at how much I loved the foreground when I first saw it...now I'm kicking myself that I didnt as you've gone and obliterated it. :-(

Eugene Veszely said...

The foreground in the first one is/was my favourite part of the painting. When I first saw it I thought it was a photograph, as you got the lighting, colours and tones just right!

It looked so real, it looks a lot more natural compared to the second version where the light coming through and hitting the top of the grass looks a bit "heavy handed" and "arranged" and not at all natural feeling...well thats how I see it.

Daroo said...

Excellent painting.

I'm impressed with the fix -- it takes me forever to recognize that there might be a problem with eye movement through the piece. Turning it upside down, looking through a mirror, framing it or taking a photo all help, but nothing seems to point out flaws better than time and a good distance from when I painted it.

Once I know it needs correcting, I take a digital photo and instead of acetate I do a practice "repaint" in the computer. Its probably not as accurate for specific color choices but it allows you to try out a variety of changes quickly and be ruthless with your compositional choices.

The one problem with this method is, that once back at the easel again, I find myself reaching for the undo button.

Vicki Sergent said...

Yes, much more pleasing to my eye. There was something about the first version that didn't quite grab me, but I put it down to too much detail overall for my taste when it really was only too much foreground detail. Good catch!

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David Westerfield said...

Yep. That does it. The foreground was a barrier.
I find most of the time, that I need a couple of weeks to decide if a painting done.

Bonnie Heather said...

Wow! That is so beautiful. Wonderful painting.

loriann said...

Beautiful. Thank you for posting your thinking process.

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