It’s a funny thing, that when working on a new painting we are often not kind to ourselves. We expect a lot from ourselves. We want the painting to unfold in a predictably successful way. We can see that finish line in our minds of how our painting will hopefully turn out as we spread our first paint colours across our paper or canvas. We want the painting to ‘turn out’, to be a success each and every time. If not then we are disappointed with ourselves.
That goal can overshadow the joyful process of painting and the progress we are making. It can make us feel concern when we should just be having fun. So we give up on that painting maybe far too soon when it’s not working out. When you have all those expectations and the painting seems to divert from what you were hoping would happen it’s good to know that there are tactics you can use to save your painting.
First put that painting to one side. Give your eyes a break from it for a few days. When you look at it again you will more easily see what needs fixing.
Or try cropping your painting. Crop out the parts of your painting that are distracting you from your main objective. The less attractive and weak parts.
Or change up your single painting by dividing it into a diptych. Yes, divide it in half into two paintings, does it work better that way?
Or add something new to your painting. Add collage papers, inks, stencils, crayons. Reinventing it into a mixed media.
Or choose to change your realistic painting into an abstract. Add new layers and elements to change the whole concept.
Sometimes working on two or more paintings at once helps you to not be too fussy on any one painting and it makes productive use of your time. Surely one painting of those will turn out well.
Most of all try to be loose, be inventive, be fluid, don’t give up on your painting too soon, choose to revive it instead!