There are times when I look at a piece of art that I have done and think to myself: ” I’d like to change something about that.” Well I decided to do just that. I’m sure there are other artists that do this also. So here are some before and after shots of two of my personal favorites. This first one is called “Archangel”. You might remember it from an earlier post. I went back in and adjusted some of the drawing and anatomy that bugged me. Then I beefed up the color and the contrast. The point of this was to improve on the overall visual impact and dramatic effect. Sometimes when I work on a piece for a time I loose something of my visual accuity. The image gets muddy and a little bland. I think that is due to a desensitivation process that results from looking at something too much. However, it is just a painting after all, so I can rework it to my hearts content. Hopefully the rework is working. What I’ve done with this is to also get the fleshy look out of the Archangel Michael’s skin. I’m trying to get more of a bronze look. So you be the judge if its getting better or worse. These are sort of small, but if you click on the images they will enlarge and you can get a better look at what I’m trying to accomplish in this stage of the game. You my notice that I’ve been a little more painterly in my approach to the use of brush strokes. Sometimes I get real finicky about blending and shading.This also contributes to the problem of bland color and muddiness. By putting the paint on a little more spontaneously it not only makes the color “pop” but adds a artistic flair and over all dramatic atmosphere.
This next one is the “Annunciation”. First, I was never very happy with Gabriels face. He always appeared to me to be angry about something.Like he didn’t want have to go talk to Mary. Doesn’t fit with the biblical narrative, does it? Also, the color didn’t seem to work in that part of the composition. While I’ve always liked the color in the foreground, the angel never quite relected the same chromatic impact. Besides that the contrast in the angel was never as punchy as I wanted. Sometimes the titanium white oil paint I use seems a little dull after it dries. So I didn’t get the brilliant backlighting effect that I was going for. I want to apply more color to the nebulae effect eventually, but for now the upgrade to Gabriel will do. Again I started with the skin tone to get rid of the fleshy look and create an otherworldly feel. Then I began to adjust the face.Mainly I wanted him to have the ancient and wise look rather than the terrifingly strong image that I did for Michael. While the color in the sky appears more chromatic than in the original, on canvas it does appear more washed out. Digital photography, go figure. I’m still not satisfied with his right hand and will rework it at some point. Overall, I like it much better. I hope you do also.