It’s always easy to spot the flaws in realistic work, and an artist could spend a lifetime on one painting and never get it perfect (whatever perfect is!) So when encouragement is needed, we can always look back and see how far we have come. Just for fun I’m going to post the stages of the face , big and bold, below:
OK I feel better now. We have come a very long way, especially considering I was not painting on a line drawing so the edges will be very nice. There does come a point where an additional session (and an additional layer) does not translate to an improvement in the work. For you photoshop junkies out there, can imagine not ever being able to go back to a previous layer? I can tell you that there have been many times that I have painted a long six hour session only to wake up the next day, and upon seeing the painting in the morning light my wife says I liked it better yesterday!! This can be very frustrating.
The moral of the story is to step back and squint down alot and look at the painting in different lighting. Constantly try and determine if you are improving or hurting the work. Knowing when to stop is important. After all, this is paint on canvas, not ink on paper. It needs to look like a painting….not a photograph. If we wanted it to look like a photo we would have skipped the painting process and framed a photograph. We want a great likeness and we want it to look like a painting. We want it to be beautiful, and fresh and not overworked. Having said that, I’m getting pretty close to kissing this one goodbye.
After additional layers and sessions we are now a little softer as show below: