This has been a very interesting, frustrating, and ultimately satisfying experience. Back into paint. Back into color. Back into trying to figure things out, correct mistakes, and admit when I'm done and leave it alone. Which is hard, because I have a tendency to want to keep tweaking things until I have killed the picture. Death by tweaking! (No, not twerking. That is a WHOLE different thing!)
This was the progression with the color. And as I have stated before, I have a love/hate relationship with color. I like it, but often it doesn't like me.
Blocking in color. The faces and arms are done with watercolor pencils, which at this point hasn't been blended with a brush and a bit of water. The dresses are way too bright, but these are under-colors and will be toned down as things go along. Hopefully, that will work. At this point, I wasn't sure it would. I haven't played with acrylics since the 70s.
On this next one, you can see more colors filled in, and the color of the dresses toned down. What REALLY wasn't working was the dark section at the bottom. I let the painting sit for about four days, thinking about what was wrong. Was it too dark, too chopped, too blah? I ended up answering yes to all three of those questions. I even dragged my husband out to the garage to look at it, and tell me what he thought. He's no artist, but he surprised me by saying out loud what I had been thinking. "It's too chopped up." He asked, "What is the dark part? A floor? A rug? Is the blue behind them a sheet or backdrop?" Hmmm, I thought, he has a point.
I wanted them to be outside. They are gypsy girls, after all. So, how to fix it? I tried lightening the area a little, but that didn't help. It still looked blah and too heavy and dark.
Then, I had a "duh" moment. Grass! Make them standing in grass, and add little flower blossoms in the colors of the dresses. Shazam. That did the trick. I like the painting much better now.
So, as of right now, I have walked away from this one and declared it finished. Sort of. I am leaving it out for a few days so I can keep looking at it, and if something really annoying leaps out at me I will fix it - if it can be fixed. For my first attempt at getting back into painting, I don't think it's too bad. In all honesty, it turned out better than I thought it would. I was expecting a disaster.
The important part for me is, that I am painting again. And that I didn't get halfway through, start to cry because I felt so inept (part of my brain kept screaming "High school kids can paint better than this!), and toss the piece in the trash. Although I admit, at one point I was VERY tempted.
Lastly, here is my little corner, with the finished painting still in place, until I decide it really is finished.
Now, it is on to the next painting in the Gypsy series. Maybe this one will have a horse in it along with the figure. Gypsies were great horse people, and let's face it, ...crafty and not so honest horse traders. I guess I should go out and start taking more photos of my horses, just in case.