I wish there was an “undo” button, while I’m painting

I was very excited to try out my new easel. I was less excited, to continue painting my apple. I need to coin a phrase, to describe the feeling I get, on day two of a project. Day one, I’m excited and enthusiastic. Day two, I’m reluctant, anxious, intimidated. Whatever the word, I have to push myself to continue with a project. Do other creative people feel this way?

Regardless of how I was feeling, I got to work on my apple. I set the easel up near the window, for natural light. Logistically, it was a nightmare. I was so far away from my palettes, with my mixed paint. And even further from the computer, where my reference photo was on the screen. (The color is never as good when I print it.) I stood at my easel, and every time I tried to get closer to the painting, I’d kick one of the legs and the whole easel would tilt.

I was working on the bottom quarter of the painting, the table, where the apples sit. In order, to be able, to paint the bottom edge, I turned the painting upside down. My acrylic painting teacher told me, to make an area (like a table) less flat looking, paint it dark to light or warm to cool (or the reverse of either). I decided to darken the table as I got closer to the apples. I also added in some greens, for the stem and the area around the seeds.

I was, feeling all over the place (literally), and I was in a rush, as I had to leave the house at a specific time. As I was adding a bit more paint, before I left, I literally said out loud, “I have to stop, I’m ruining it.” Before I left, I turned the painting right side up.

While I was out, all I could think about, was that I ruined the painting. I loved it the first day. Maybe I shouldn’t have done the gradual darkening of the table? Maybe I should have left it “flat” looking? Isn’t that a painting style?

I wish there was an “undo” button. When I work, as a Graphic Designer, any time I don’t like the last couple steps I’ve taken, I just click “Edit, Undo.” There is also “Edit, Step Backward,” and “Revert to Saved.” Basically, there are tons of ways, to go back to where you started. Sometimes, while painting, I wish I had one of these options.

A funny thing happened when I got home. I turned on the light, saw the apple painting on the easel, and thought, “Wow, it looks good!” I was so surprised.

A couple of days later, when I had time to paint, I knew what area I wanted to work on. I realized having a plan, made starting up easier. I didn’t feel as intimidated. Also, I know from experience, once I get started, I’m usually fine. I now know, that before I step away from I project, I need to have a plan for the next day.

Working with the easel, was much better, the second time around. I printed my reference photo and hung it near the easel. I brought my palette to the easel, instead of walking back and forth. Be prepared to laugh. I realized the curved area on either side of my easel, is so I can comfortably hold it! I sat on a stool and didn’t kick the easel once!


As far as the painting itself, I darkened the background directly behind the apples. I added details to all the apples. The only thing I need to finish, is the stem and the area behind the stem. That is my plan, and I am excited to attack it next time!


3 thoughts on “I wish there was an “undo” button, while I’m painting

  1. As with any art form, be it writing, visual art or what have you, you learn by “doing”. The theoretical goes out the window once you truly muck into your project. The only way through is through. Fair play to you for sticking with it (this project and others).

  2. My motto for 2014 is FINISH! I have so many projects and ideas all over the house and keep distracting myself with normal life. It is time to finish before beginning something else!

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