I recently had a little discussion with Martha – she is also a painter and runs a wonderful blog – a short discussion on the subject: “When is a picture ready?” In general, I don’t have a problem with this question that often. I paint and paint and at some point a voice says: let go. All of this is largely a matter of the subconscious.
It becomes more difficult when a picture is being created that has many good parts, ideas, statements…. but is does not “feel” finished after all. Sometimes I sleep over it and look at it again then with a certain distance. In this particular case, I was satisfied with the sky and with the foreground. And not at all with some other parts.
Both areas are determined by dramatic gestures, the sky in a soft way through the clouds, the foreground hard and pointed, which creates additional tension.
To better understand the weak parts I scanned the picture and so as not to be confused by the colors, I did a black and white scan. Now the construction was much clearer in front of me and weaknesses, especially with the flow of power, became clearer. After a few sketches with possible solutions, I started working on the painting again.
And I’m certainly not satisfied. Some parts have gained, but all in all I don’t think it’s really any better now. Above all, I wanted to add a portion of “mood” to it, but I didn’t really succeed.
Next possible solution would have been to make the foreground warmer and the background colder. But that is so predictable, so “logical” that it gets really boring then.
Before I finally throw it away, I will perhaps file it as “unfinished” and look at it again after a week or two. At the moment I think that a breeze of “unexpected” and a few accents can help. But I have to use those very wisely and skillfully, otherwise the waste basket will be one sheet richer.
More of this at: landscape paintings