Once in awhile (actually probably pretty often) I’m left unsatisfied with something that I’ve painted and it niggles at me. So it it was with my painting “Wizard Onysius”. After looking at it for a year I took my brush to it and I can finally say that I’m a great deal happier with it. You will notice that I left myself a bit of wiggle room on that. The before is on the left and the after is on the right.
An obvious thing that I did was add blue and lavenders to the background. I felt that the painting was to warm overall and needed some cools to make the color pop. In looking at the painting I felt a lot of it wasn’t crisp enough (defined) so I went in and developed the values a bit more. I think it’s particularly noticeable with the dragons. They pop out much more now.I added red to the shadow because I knew it would make the green sing being green’s complimentary color. It also had the effect of making the shadows much more interesting. At the same time I made the values much stronger on everything.
I worked on the anatomy of his face, minimizing his right nostril because there was too much showing for the angle of his head. I shaved off a bit of his right cheekbone, again for the same reason as the nose. I added additional lines to his face and brought out his eyebrows more. I added more wisps of hair to the edges of his his beard. And a bit more subtle colors to the shadows of his beard which gave more dimensionality to it. And finally I added a smidge to the hat bottom to improve the angle of it.
You could almost play that game where you circle what’s different.
A word of caution about changing things on a painting. When I’ve tried to do this before I’ve figured out exactly what’s wrong and what’s needed to fix it, it hasn’t really worked very well. I usually end up with a mess and a painting that I tear up and throwing in the garbage. But what’s even better than reworking a painting is doing a lot of preliminary work so that you don’t have to go back, ie. color,studies, value drawings, etc