Thursday, April 16, 2020

Out Beyond the Shore - Fix it Friday #7

Out Beyond the Shore, Oil on Canvas, 30 x 30, L. Daniel © 2020

Today's "fix it" subject is a large piece that I first painted in 2009... 11 years ago!! At the time, I liked it well enough, but as it never sold, it began the art storage shuffle. It went from one closet to another, under a bed, back to a closet, etc. (You artist friends know what I am talking about! And hey, 11 years goes fast!!) Eventually it ended up in the "to be gessoed over" stack in my garage. After all, I thought, it's a large canvas and I can use it again. Ever the frugal one, am I. 

Well, at the last minute, I decided to try and resurrect it. Here are the results. You can still "find" the original in there, but it became a new painting and... it's going in my upcoming show!

BEFORE (painted 11 years ago in 2009)

AFTER (edited in 2020)

Problem 1 - Color palette was too intense.
Fix 1 - Covered up almost ALL of that intense orange.
Fix 2 - Saved intense orange for pop at sun (focal point) and foreground reflections.

Problem 2 - Painting lacked depth (especially in sky).
Fix 1 - Muted down the color at the horizon to push that into the distance.
Fix 2 - Added a cloud pattern to establish space with overlapping layers and values. 
Fix 3 - Made sun smaller and lower to make it look farther away. 

Problem 3 - Brushwork was amateurish.
Fix 1 - Replaced overlarge mark-making with passages of painterly strokes. 
Fix 2 - Replaced too-broad single strokes with accurately sized highlights.

Problem 4 - Rocks looked flat, like cutouts.
Fix 1 - Reworked masses for a more defining profile.
Fix 2 - Added highlights reflected from the sun to give volume. 

Biggest takeaway??? Color loses its power when used everywhere in a painting. Reducing the overall orange-ness and bringing in lots of neutrals, made the remaining color much more effective. Those pops of orange now direct the eye right to the focal point of this piece, which is always the goal. It's all about restraint... knowing when to hold back!

And now I digress, but... isn't this true of many things? We tend toward overdoing. If we like it, well, more, more, more! I'm reminded of something a dear friend shared at a particularly over-committed time of my life, "you can choke on good food too, you know." She was right. 

Click Here to see Fix it Friday #2 


Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

WOW!! What an amazing difference. It is stunning.

Teri said...

I love the fix! Thank you for explaining the reasons ... makes tons of sense. Take good care.

Laurel Daniel said...

Thank you, Penny and Teri! Glad it makes sense! Yay!

Barbara Muir said...

Beautiful Laurel,

I always read what was wrong with the first one and think -- that's me -- I do that. But I have to forgive myself and keep going, or I won't paint at all, and
it's been hard lately.

Love what you are doing here, in paint and in words. Wonderful.


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Laurel Daniel said...

Thank you Barbara, I so appreciate your kind words! And wow, don't we all need to forgive ourselves and keep on going! It's a daily practice! ;) And these are particularly hard times to stay focused. With you friend! With you! XOXOXOXO