Last week I was finishing up a painting and kept noticing what I’ll call weaknesses – areas I wanted to better capture. In an effort to improve the painting I kept tweaking it. In the end I overworked it and should have left it the way it was.
I’m learning that as you paint, especially the same subject, you find new areas that you want to improve on. At first, when I started focusing on painting the ocean, my goal was to capture the water – the waves, the shadows, the movement. As I got better at that, I focused on making the foam look more realistic. Then it was adding more interest to the sky. Not just painting a blue sky, but clouds, and light from one direction. I even did two paintings that the clouds are almost the focal point. Now my goal is to capture the way the light hits the water.
This sliding scale means that with each painting I may achieve a previous goal, but a new one is likely to reveal itself. With the last painting I should have quit while I was ahead. With this painting, I stopped myself. I did accomplish more than the last, and there is always the next painting.
Want a dose of creative inspiration? Sign up for my newsletter “My Creative Collection” by clicking here. Learn more here.
I’ve added three new watercolor ocean paintings to my shop! Prints are available at shop.eileenmckenna.com. Take a look!
2 thoughts on “Stop, don’t ruin it! There is always the next painting.”
You did well to stop yourself where you did, Eileen! Beautiful job and pretty darn perfect from where I’m sitting! I know that feeling about noticing this and that ‘wrong’ with a painting, though….I get THAT all the time and often it’s a very insistent little voice and I have to tell it repeatedly to be quiet, because, “other people won’t notice THAT” 😉
Thank you Hilda! Sometimes when I step away from a painting for a while and am less in it, I notice those things less and less. Thankfully 🤣