View Full Version : Is this doomed?

05-15-2013, 08:15 AM
I love the background in this - it is perfect for me. I am a bit torn on the figure in the foreground - in some ways it has this cool sort of Degas or Manet look to me. Anyhow the face got really muddied in watercolor .. I wanted to salvage it - it's a half sheet and I loved the background, I was already quite invested. So I ended up getting out my titanium white gouache and mixing it up with my watercolors to completely redo the face with white and paint. Gouache I guess. Is this doomed? Ruined? I think I have salvaged as much as possible. Anyhow, CC is welcome. It won't hurt my feelings. It feels kinda nice to put a failed painting out there! Haha. You can't win everytime. On a side note, it was very fun to use gouache to re-do the face. Reminded me of painting in oils ..


05-15-2013, 08:46 AM
Doomed? Hardly - it looks great! Yes she does look Parisian! How about just softening the lines in the water behind her?
It seems like the hair could use a bit more darks & lights, but only if you feel the need.
It looks like her arm and hand are too big, but that could be fixed only if you feel really adventurous.
All in all, I think it looks fine; it's not that easy to "tweak" in watercolor, it seems one thing leads to another (crisis), but it's a great learning experience. It looks like you have already learned a tremendous amount from the many adjustments you have made to this painting.

05-15-2013, 10:00 AM
Nah, not a failure, just mixed media :)

Or is it? Gouache seems to qualify as "watercolor" so you might be just fine. I think the face looks a little Goth, so would warm it up if it was me, *but* if that's the intent, leave it and frame it. It only stood out to me because the forehead's a different color than the rest of the face... maybe bring your T white up there to match, and call it done?

It's working well, quite mysterious in a good way.

05-15-2013, 11:36 AM
This is an intriguing composition...a woman of mystery leaves the viewer wondering who she is and where she is going in that black velvet (?) gown and veil.

I like the background too, and I think you've "saved" her face quite nicely with your gouache/watercolor mix.

A couple of things to consider in your next painting: her eyes seem a bit too black. Even if they are dark, dark brown, there would still be a black center that is a bit darker. They can also use a tiny little highlight to bring them to life.

Also, her arms seem a bit too muscular for a woman like her and the lower one on the edge of the painting draws the viewers' eyes and leads them out of the painting. My teacher on Monday afternoons always cautions us about what we put along the edges and corners of our paintings for things like that. I'm passing the tip along to you. :D

Your painting is getting better and better by leaps and bounds. Keep practicing and painting.


05-15-2013, 11:38 AM
I don't think it's toast at all; I rather like it. She's got porcelian complexion. I like your background too and her pose.

05-15-2013, 01:02 PM
In real life, your gouache "save" will look much heavier than the rest of the transparent colour in your painting. It'll look rather pasted on and maybe even *fixed*. To create harmony so that it appears you planned this, I think you might consider adding some gouache to other areas.

It's really an interesting composition and I can see why you like it!

05-15-2013, 03:23 PM
Everyone thank you so much for the feedback! I consider it a total bomb, so it was nice to hear that it's not as bad as I think.

Cyntada (Is it Jan?? I forget ;x) Thanks - I agree it is a bit cold. The girl is a friend of mine and I left it a bit cold on purpose .. plus the sky and atmosphere is a bit cold there .. A little Goth-y, yeah!

I agree the arms are a little big .. thanks Sylvia for the advice on objects near the edge that lead our eyes out of the composition. I will hold on to that info! Also, thanks for the advice on eyes :)

Char - You are right, that is one problem with this. Good call - I will add some gouache around the painting to even that out.

Thanks a lot everyone .. :)

05-16-2013, 04:16 AM
Not ruined at all!!! A very interesting and wonderful composition. You might want to make her arm have the same color and texture as her face for unity. Right now her face is in cool tones and and arm in warm. Love it

05-16-2013, 08:09 AM
Not doomed at all. It may not be perfect, and clearly you feel it missed the mark you were aiming at in several places, but it still works well as a painting.

I would be thrilled if my figures came out even half so well. There is a reason I paint mostly birds and fish...I can't paint people! ;)

M.L. Schaefer
05-16-2013, 03:04 PM
Josh, I also agree with everything above. Not doomed!

The one thing that caught my eye, especially in the face, which is the COI, is the area under the nose. I would lighten that, or remove it all together. Although it is a part of the facial structure, all the rest of the face is quite gothy and gives a special look, except for that area.

Josh, you have always had a way of capturing expression and, yes, this mysterious woman is full of mystery! Nicely done.

:heart: Margarete

05-16-2013, 03:09 PM
Josh, I agree with everyone else, I really like the face! Nothing is ever a failure, just a learning experience! :thumbsup:

05-17-2013, 08:17 AM
Josh, I like the gouache save that you've done and, I think it has worked relatively well. I am wondering about the cloak she is wearing. I realize it is black but you have some folds in the bottom of the painting but it is quite stark and formless around her face. I am wondering if her face would be less stark if there were a little more detail or variation in the cloak around her face so that it would lose that pasted look...good learning experience for all of us. Thanks for posting..I have a self-portrait I've been wondering how to salvage...hmmm


05-18-2013, 11:21 AM
The face looks perfect (in a French sort of way). I'd play around a bit more with the background, add a bit more atmosphere around the buildings, and yeah, use gouache to integrate the figure with the rest of the painting.

05-22-2013, 11:11 PM
No it's great, leave it alone.