The Importance of Updating Your Paintings

Up until very recently, I couldn’t complete a painting in multiple sittings. I still find it very difficult to abandon something that does not live up to my standards. Then, I realized that I was wrong about being finished a painting.

ballerina-1I painted this in one sitting. It is over five feet tall and about three feet wide. I mixed my own colours, including the skin tone, from selections of red, blue, and yellow. It was exhausting, but engaging. I knew I was creating something really cool as I was painting it, and when I was done filling in the canvas, I called it a day and finally went to bed. It wasn’t until a few days later when I decided to buy some portrait tone that I began critiquing my work. I thought, a few splashes of legit portrait tone will only make this painting better, right?

ballerina-2I have never been more right in my life. The first ballerina is great and got a lot of likes on Facebook but she needed some authority in her face and in her pose. I highlighted some ambiguous areas on her arms and legs, and across her cheeks, nose, and forehead. All I did was remove some paint to make her look like she has a nose and a cheekbone, and I was done. Although it only took me minutes, this update really improved the quality of my work.

Now I finish all my pieces with ambiguity. Meh, maybe I’ll change it later, maybe I won’t. Imagining the possibility that I might be able to make this painting and others even better one day motivates me to create something every day.

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