Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Sharing my Disasters?

Well maybe disaster might be too strong a word but from the minute I posted this painting on fb I could see it was wrong and it was really annoying me. I hadn't taken a word of my own advice and stupidly had drawn what I thought I saw and not what I actually saw and though it didn't look too bad on the painting as soon as I posted it and could see it properly on the computer the mistake shouted at me.

Maybe I shouldn't post this sort of thing... doesn't do my street cred much good I know, but I am working on the premise that we all make mistakes and have our disasters no matter what stage we're at, working or hobby artists and I know during the early stages of my own journey it was music to my ears to hear someone I perceived as a "good" artist still had off days and their fair share of disasters. At that stage maybe one out of ten paintings turned out for me and even then the ones which turned out weren't that good. Happily the percentage of successes is much higher now but I wanted to share this as a lesson to us all.

So a bit of background. I have done a series of paintings from photos I have taken of "The Street" in Rivington. I worked with the same three colours, Turquoise, Burnt Sienna and purple so unusual combination but I am able to get a rich variety of colours using just those three and produce quite a colourful piece at the same time. None of these paintings represent the true colours from the reference photos, however as long as I keep the tonal value correct the palette is secondary and all I need to do is to make sure the chosen colours look attractive when mixed together.  This was the first piece and one I was very pleased with (and is now with a new owner!!)

The second was one I had painted before keeping the colours fairly closely to the reference and I really didn't like it so this was using the new palette and I much preferred it.

This is the painting I messed up on...

I have no idea why I didn't see this as I was painting.. just shows you can be too close to something and also shows you really need to step back. The other thing it shows is that no matter how good the actual painting bit is, if the drawing stinks the painting doesn't work!! So no prizes for guessing the problem with this one, yes, the perspective on the gates, and here is the new version I did yesterday which I am happier with

Would love to hear what you all think about this. Is it good to share the disasters too, to admit that not everything works or should I keep them to myself?


  1. nooooooo don't keep them to yourself we love to see what a GOOD ARTIST can do when they take their eye off the ball lol It also points out some facts that we tend to forget that the foundation has to be good for the building to stand so then the drawing has to be good/accurate for the painting to stand tall and you reminding us that you do it and for us to look REALLY LOOK often is a great reminder - thanks always for your words of wisdom and support :)

  2. You're welcome Leona! We were discussing paper the other night at my group and the cost of it and someone said it's alright for you when you can sit down and produce successful paintings all the time!! And I understand why he said that as historically my paintings were ruined as well because I couldn't paint, not because of the drawing so I did think this was important to share. Having said that I still have my paintings which don't work and I think that is usually to do with colour and so going back to a limited palette has really worked for these.....

  3. It's really encouraging to see problems and how you fixed them with later paintings. love the color palette too.

  4. Hi Judith
    I really love your colour choice , as you know colour is my king but l also bow to tone just as much
    I love these , yes I can see what you say about the gates , but you saw that yourself .
    Everyone has paintings that don't do what they want them to do , I don't like the word failed , as each teaches its lesson , l have a huge box of them , I paint on the other side , and sometimes take them out of my learning box , and add to them try new techniques on them that way I may reduce the boxes contents ,ha ha , but have found new techniques that way .
    Happy Painting Bev

  5. I like your watercolors. As you want to hear some advice I'd tell you to ad a little bit more contrast and work grounds. Everything else is totally fine!

  6. Honey, if that is an example of your bloopers, I will take them all. I love your paintings, and even the one you don't like- to me it is just a different perspective.


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