Arabian Nights 2 (Acrylic)

There are times that my efforts as an amateur artist frustrate me like nothing else ever has. I recently read a blog where an artist struggling to complete a composition remarked that she had almost started disliking the project toward the end. I sympathize with her. By the time that I declared this painting finished I knew what I felt towards it was something akin to hate. The colors won’t co-operate and just refuse to settle into the calming tone I was looking for, instead coalescing into this confused mess.

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I had thought this work would look great in acrylic but almost as soon as I started, I knew it would have worked much better in watercolor. Blending the shadows and the reflections would have worked much much better in watercolors. Here, I struggled and struggled and still never made it.

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Look at it from as many angles as I can there is something just off about the whole thing. It just refuses to come together. It does not please the eye. Colossal mistake has been made, but one must learn to live with it.

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Happily, I have made the executive decision to just stop doing anything else to this and juts Let it go. Or not. Its like a bad tooth that you can’t help feeling with your tongue again and again even though it hurts every time.

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Three modifications. And still contemplating one more. Pick the differences if you can πŸ™‚ I think it is helping to see them like this. I need the water to throw some reflection now. Sigh. Will it never end?!?

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10 thoughts on “Arabian Nights 2 (Acrylic)

  1. You are being very hard on yourself – the painting is a beautiful scene with many good elements (like the foreground building details and water reflections). The lessons learned is the most beneficial aspect of doing a painting like this – through our eyes as we assess, our failures become successes as we paint the same scene over (and sometimes over again) and carry the lessons throughout. I’m thrilled that you pushed the envelop here.

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    1. Thank you so much Mary for your encouraging talk. There were supposed to be mountains in the backdrop and try as I might they ended up looking like flames every time. I painted over and over till I think the top half of my painting must weigh at least 10 pounds under all that paint. And everytime I got it wrong I would think of your mountains and cliffs and boulders that have such depth and clarity. I would go and look at them and just sigh and come back to my work. In the end I thought just removing them altogether would be best.

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      1. Thank you so much for your beautiful compliment. So funny, weighing 10 pounds – but what to do. If you have a reference photograph, change it from color to black and white so that you can see the value changes from background to the foreground it will help you translate what the shades of the mountain range should be versus the water in the foreground. And then consider what do you want the focal point to be – if the mountain range is not the primary and because it is so far back try to refrain from putting in too much detail. While it is a difficult element in the painting, the painting holds together because of your terrific work in the foreground. Awesome that you are trying and thinking through your paintings, it is great to see and I’m looking forward to your next piece – this was a magical feel to the scene.

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      2. Black and white! Why did I not think of it! You are absolutely right. The reference photo looked great in color but I struggled with the shades. This is an awesome tip. Thank you Thank you. I think so much about my work because I follow artists like you who work so hard and produce such finished works that look flawless. Kind words always perk up a flagging spirit and now I can begin my next project with a spring in my step πŸ™‚

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  2. I know I should comment on your post first but OMG, your blog’s new look rocks!

    Your painting looks great too. I think it’s just the top part that’s gone a little wonky. In the digital world, we could just crop it off >.<

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