View Full Version : Manipulating a disappointing painting

01-16-2006, 01:23 AM
Here's a question that I hope will bring forward some interesting stories, opinions, and samples of work: How many of you have had paintings, digital or otherwise, that you weren't satisfied with, and seeing no value in them, decided to manipulate, or paint over it partially- digitally, whatever, and end up with a piece they were actually pleased with.
I have a box of failed watercolors - things with a few good parts here and there that I would like to try this with, but I never seem to get around to it. I have resorted to manipulating some digital paintings and felt that I "saved them"

01-16-2006, 06:07 AM
I have the problem the other way round, Elaine, I have some early works that were total manips, but good pictures to start with. I don't like the manips, and now that I am building confidence in painting digitally, I am taking them up again. I always think it worth looking at old stuff and having another go, even if it's a completely fresh go. Let's have a look!

01-16-2006, 10:41 AM
Let's have a look!

Yeah, what up wid dat, Elaine?!:)... Give us one of your examples.

I also have a good number of old paintings that have potential. One of the problems with us is that our art and style evolves, and we look at the old stuff and cringe. We're perfectionists to a fault sometimes... I'm always slightly dissapointed in just about all of my paintings two weeks after I finish them. For me, it's the rare painting that stands the test of time.:eek:

01-16-2006, 12:22 PM
For me, it's the rare painting that stands the test of time.:eek:

It's funny that isn't it? Sometimes we can be so obsessed with the doing, we don't do the seeing, until a lot later

01-16-2006, 03:11 PM
If I am not mistaken, you are talking about your traditional watercolors?
If so, you can always scan them and try other choices in the computer.

01-16-2006, 09:38 PM
Everyone here has an excellent point. I am not sure how much I can add here. Although I never completed a piece that ever turns out the way I first see in my mind. The relationship with your work is a symbiotic relationship. The piece that’s on a life of its own and sometimes you need to roll with it and as you grow with your craft you develop different ways upon what you see and feel visually.

If you look at your work one day and hate what you see. Tomorrow you see something totally different and be drawn to it. This is your creation do with it what you will and allow this to grow with you.


01-16-2006, 11:43 PM
Everyone has good points. Last night as I sat painting digitally, I felt like I was loosing. Instead of leaving frustrated, I started trying a few filters and trying to paint the background more abstractly, and I think it was better off for it. But it also reminded me of the box of old watercolors I have up on top of the closet.
Tonight without looking I reached in and grabbed one, and found this.http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Jan-2006/42008-cluster-of-trees-opt.jpg
I don't even remember it, it was probably done more than 7 years ago, before I moved to the west coast! My guess is that I didn't have time to finish, or didn't like where it was going and stuck it away in frustration.
I scanned it and opened it in Painter, and here's my result.http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Jan-2006/42008-clusterreworkedopt.jpg
It doesn't matter whether you start with a traditional piece, an old digital piece, or whatever. When you go back in and look at an old piece with fresh eyes, you might see some redeeming value and rework other parts, you might crop it, or run it thru a few filters, etc. with digital it is easier to go and completely rework a piece and not have it look overworked.
I thought it might be fun to see some old disasters given new life.
Anyone want to try it? Scan or post one of your old disasters (or at least something you don't like) even a doodle off the back of an envelop, and try reworking it however you want whether by digital painting or manipulating.

01-17-2006, 01:46 PM
I think you've done a wonderful work here, salvaging from previous work started. yor example is clear and your additional work nicley done!! :clap:

01-17-2006, 03:37 PM
A great rejuvenation Elaine. What we need is a thread where someone puts up a 'failed' piece of work and we all have a go!

01-17-2006, 11:19 PM
That's a very good idea Barry.