Thursday, October 21, 2010

Just Not Satisfied

I took everyone's great suggestions to heart and dug my heels in to make the needed adjustments.  However, I'm simply not satisfied with this painting.  Every once in awhile I come upon certain pieces that just don't live up to my expectations.  I have a final image in my brain of what I want it to look like and I can't get my brush and paint to perform the way they should.

I still think my darkest values are lacking.  I'm also frustrated by the left garage door....I can't seem to push it back behind the tree.  The left window has also been troublesome.  It's suppose to be open, but it almost looks bowed. 

This painting will most likely sit in my closet for awhile.  If I'm not happy with it, I can't justify giving it away for the sake of gift giving.  I am still open to suggestions, but I certainly don't want to "beat a dead horse".

Time to move on.......
And again, many thanks to all who provided wonderful and helpful suggestions.  Even though I can't walk away from this one feeling satisfied, I've walked away with additional knowledge to take to my next painting.


  1. I think it's vastly improved. The things you mentioned don't bother me. I'd like to see some darks in the hedge row (like you have in the tree above it), since right now they look "fluffy". Other than that, I think it's good and your friend would love it. I do understand your frustration though. But since the viewer doesn't have the picture that you have in your head, he/she won't be concerned that it didn't turn out right!

  2. If you are like me, maybe you will like it after you put it away for a while, then have a fresh look! Looks good to me, though! Maybe we should trade "problem"paintings and finish them for each other....

  3. Gretchen, my first look at the second version of your painting I loved! The darks really helped the painting come to life. Great colors, I like the roof/skyline, great angle for the painting, I second the thought that your friend would love it.

  4. Wow! Looks much better!
    Two little tweaks I would do - the shadow under the left window I would make the same as the right;
    a small amount of really dark green on the bottom of the tree will make the door recede.

    But honestly, its looking really good!
    Perhaps you are too close to it at the moment (emotionally not distance) Try putting it in a draw for a week or so then fetch it out and you'll be pleased, honest :) xx

  5. I agree with all of the above - but you are the one who has to be satisfied. Lay some acetate over it and play with these suggestions, or start it again - it's looking much better!

  6. Although I don't see much to change with this one, it's looking so good, I know what you mean about that picture in your mind and what comes out of your brush!!

  7. Hello Grethen~
    I thought I'd add my two cents about the painting. ^_^ We are our hardest critics I least I know I am.
    As far as the house is concerned...Most would say to darken some of the shadows in the house. I would dare you to actually darken up the tree in front of the house. Get the darkest spots as dark as the darkness in the darker window. Don't be afraid to go out of your comfort zone. Then darken the bush on the right side of the house. Leaving the potted plants and spikey plant light. I think that will give you the depth you are looking for.
    I see what you mean with the window and the bowed effect. Go ahead and darken the top right corner where you left it light. Then on the other window...add darkness in all for corners along the outside rim. Then balance it out by darkening the shadow under the window. I hope I am not being too specific.
    A painting is really a personal thing, so if you don't like any of the suggestions feel free to ignore them! I may try to draw you an example so it isn't so complicated.
    HUGS! Karsten

  8. Well I personally think it's lovely. I really like the fresh washes you have here. But boy do I know what you mean, don't you hate it when that happens? :) Good luck with your next one!

  9. are right, I need to remember the viewer isn't getting the reference photo and the painting. It does make me feel better to hear some of the things that bother me, don't bother others.
    Sheryl...what a concept to swap our difficult paintings. That's a fun proposition!
    Thank you, Maria, I wasn't sure about the angle. I had an image of a different angle, but let my husband and boys choose which they liked better and they liked this angle better.
    Pat...I went in and made the adjustments you suggested. It really did help! Thank you.
    Deb...I've decided I need to get some acetate. I think that would be a great tool to use along with a black and white image, which I try to do as well.
    Thanks Rhonda.
    Thanks for your helpful suggestions Karsten!
    Thank you Crystal and thanks for following my art blog!

  10. Good Job Gretchen, very mellow colors. I guess being from California I am used to see bright flowers on the front porch.. but this one look good without too.

    I am sure they love the painting :)


  11. Dear Gretchen,
    The work is lovely. Please never beat either alive or dead horses. Yes, be kind to yourself and let us celebrate your achievement, first. Then, technical improvement follows you;).
    Kind regards and best wishes,

  12. Irina...I would've liked to have added flowers in the window boxes as well as the trellis above the garage, but I ran out of time. Thank you!
    Sadami...don't worry....I'll never beat an alive horse, and I really don't enjoy beating a dead one either. Thank you for your kind comments.

  13. I really like your painting. The roof line is great and I like how you did the trellis over the garage. It along with the white door draws attention to that area. The only thing I would probably do is add just a touch of dark shading and detail to the tree and greenery in front to the left giving it a little more shape. Detail would bring it visually forward and the darks would enhance the lights of the house making it sparkle. I like that you warmed the tree with the golden shade. The trunk crevice is a beautiful dark contrast but needs a cast shadow from the leaves above. I tend to paint very light also and am always struggling with this sort of thing. It really is a beautiful painting and nice composition. Connie

  14. Great tips Connie....there seemed to be a concensus on what needed to be done. I had gone back to it and made the necessary adjustments and was fairly least more so than before. Thanks for viewing my blog, now I'm going to visit yours!



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