Several weeks ago I was painting for a client and it just wasn’t turning out the way I wanted. This happens every now and then. I mean, it’s natural to like how some paintings turned out more than others but THIS ONE. JUST. WASN’T. WORKING.
On any level.
Granted, it was in a category of subject that I don’t often paint – botanicals – but I could not seem to wrap my head around it.
It looked like a mud puddle.
Usually when I’m around 90% done with a painting I’ll hold it up for my husband, who’s a good judge of these things, and say, “What’s wrong with it?” He’s not an artist, but I would call him an aesthete. And he has a good eye. He’ll usually look up from his book or his chess game, glance at the painting and say something like, “needs more contrast” or “don’t touch it, it’s done.” He’s usually spot on, pin-pointing exactly what my eye was seeing but my brain could not formulate.
In the case of this troublesome painting he said, “You’re going to have to forget everything you know about painting for this one.”
I let that idea kick around in my head for awhile before attempting the painting again, this time with wider eyes and no game plan.
And darn it, he was right.
Turns out, the formula to paint GRAPES is very different than painting faces, or buildings, or dogs. I left a little more to the imagination in some areas, and added a bit more detail in others.
These grapes are starting to look like…well, grapes.