View Full Version : "What's been abandoned from your canvas?"

10-02-2006, 06:50 AM
In a previous thread titled "Am I alone on this?" Loreliekitty brought up the topic of paintings that have been abandoned mid-way due to lack of inspiration, lack of confidence, etc.

I said: "At any one time there is usually at least one half painted canvas leaning against the wall in a corner of my studio.

In fact I do this so often I even thought of starting a thread called "What's been abandoned from your easel?"... we can all post the pictures we've gotten "stuck" on half way through, and get some encouragement and motivation to continue. What do you think??"

So I am starting this thread to get us inspired to tackle those pieces that have sat against the wall for so long they have taken on mythical status in your studios (or perhaps just gathered a lot of dust).

I'll go first:

First is a nude I started about 4 months ago and never even finished the underpainting (though the end product was going to be blue anyway, so don't get too put off my the blue colour here). I just totally lost all inspiration for this one and don't know how to get back in to it.


The second is a piece from just last week, that feel almost finished, but is just lacking something that is stopping the colours playing together as well as I'd like them to.:confused:

(bad photos sorry, it's a dark rainy day here in Shanghai today. The "poo" colours on the second one are more bronze and gold in real life.)

So that's me- is anyone else game?:rolleyes:


10-02-2006, 07:47 AM
Well, I have 10 canvases sitting up on a shelf that are 'failed' not finished paintings. :D But fortunately there is always the same reason they didn't work: I didn't work out the composition beforehand but just bolted straight in. Unfortunately I don't seem to always remember that when starting new series of work. ;)

Some of the canvases have even been sanded and regessoed to only have them fail again! I think perhaps certain ones are just cursed.


10-02-2006, 02:05 PM
Chinalou, The design on the blue nude is excellent. I really think this one could turn out to be a very good painting. You could develop the form more with more light and dark tones. At this point, I am not sure where your light source is. You could also leave the painting somewhat flat but you will have to use color changes in large areas so you can see the different parts.

I also like the blue. It seems very moody and I think it goes with the pose. And, I like the facial features and profile of the model. I hope you do finish this one.

10-02-2006, 02:18 PM
Some of the canvases have even been sanded and regessoed to only have them fail again!
Here, too, Tina! :)
I have no photos of such but I know the feeling, Lou.

10-02-2006, 03:01 PM
I love the "blocks" piece.:thumbsup: Hope you get the inspiration for the nude as I would love to see how that turns out.

10-02-2006, 03:50 PM
Ohhh, Tina, what an October thought: Some canvases are cursed and any painting attempted on them will f-a-i-l. I just purchased some new canvasses the other day. After reading your post I held them up to the light. I don't see an image of Satan, nor a skull and crossbones. :lol: How funny! I'm too new to painting to have any unfinished paintings in my studio but I think I'll save that thought for when I DO. It's bound to happen. My closet is filled with unfinished craft projects that are going into a Yard Sale next spring! :wave:

10-02-2006, 03:55 PM
after the 3rd or 4th failure on a particular canvas it hits the burn barrel! Some canvas's just dont want to be paintings! This is the almost finished work that haunts me the most right now.


I know where I want it to go, the trouble is picking up a brush and taking it there..

10-02-2006, 04:23 PM
Ah, you have to look for the very subtle image of Kinkade in the canvas weave! ;) (no offense to Kinkade fans)


10-02-2006, 08:26 PM
Lou it is too early for me to say on your nude. The abstract is too even of distribution of warm/cool. One or the other needs to be prominent. Probably best to go with the warm golds and red with very small touches of blue. I bet the metallic colors are gorgeous in real life.

10-04-2006, 06:57 AM
Annette, I totally see (now!) what you mean about the warm/cool colours, and I think that's just the kick I needed to get going on this one. I did one very similar in warm colours before so I might see if I can tone down the reds on this to get something different. If it doesnt work cold I'll go over the whole lot again in warm.

The nude was intended to be in realistic style, just a totally off colour. I did a few others like that earlier this year, but perhaps I am just out of that phase now. I'll have to wait and see...
As they say on the cooking shows: here's one I prepared earlier!

Dreamz: I like that piece a lot. Perhaps though the bushes in the bottom right end a little abruptly? But it could easily be like that in real life.

Thanks Tiasa and Stephen for the welcome comments and suggestions. :)

Oh and Tina, I totally agree that some canvasses are just cursed. When I used to do more pencil portraits I firmly believed that some pencils were cursed too. I even threw a few on the fire in frustration!!

Cheers everyone,

10-04-2006, 09:20 AM
I'm still too new at painting to have unfinished ones, but you should see the unfinished quilts I have. In the quilting world they are UFOs (unfinished objects) At one quilt guild meeting a lady had a quilt she started in the '70s.

So do painting need time to age like quilts and wine?

10-04-2006, 05:47 PM
Actually that started out to be the underlying base for a large bushy tree but the way the background trees eneded up looking like an inlet, which I liked.. the whole idea for the painting changed. Unfortunately Im not sure where I want to take it now... a palm tree? a live oak? sand dune with a fence?

Suzy.. some paintings DO need to age, others seem to spring from the brush with a life of their own!

10-05-2006, 03:29 AM
dreamz, perhap you are not fond of the 2 halves of the canvas not sharing any hues...have you tried playing with this one, swap some of the colours with dabs, use outlines in black, whatever you fancywhy not just let this one teach you something new...
Lou, perhaps you don't like the face, just bodies....
I have a painting which I've changed the background of twice (first time I've ever done this), and still no-one buys it! ah well...maybe I'll turn it black and white :D :D

10-05-2006, 03:50 AM
Where do I begin? I've only ever finished ONE!


10-05-2006, 06:08 AM
Gnu? hue? haven't a clue! :lol: Most of that foreground is just underpainting, I would have/will add grasses etc in lighter colors

10-11-2006, 01:46 AM
Here are a couple of mine (I have many more). The teapot is from a classroom on glazing from some months ago. I just got so frustrated trying to use an opaque method with transparent paints that I couldn't take it anymore. Hey! I bought opaque paints since then! Maybe I'll finish this after all.

The window is supposed to have some red flowers in front of it. This is from a WDE ages ago. You know, the 2 hour project that takes way more than that? I was taking way too long getting those stones to look just right, and I got frustrated with myself for being such a perfectionist, so I quit.

Chinalou, I like your green person quite a bit. I can't offer you anything useful on your blue person, having never painted a figure.

Dreamz, I like your inlet so far. I know what you mean about not being able to just make it happen. Good luck!


10-11-2006, 03:45 AM
This has been abandoned but not because I wanted to. Life just got in the way for a bit. I hope to get back on this one soon, but for now I've got two commissions to get done. So... it will sit alittle longer.



10-11-2006, 04:51 AM
al, please do get back to this one, it's one of my fave RL pics...
dreamz, I mean top half all blue, bottom half all green, cuts it in 2..Now that's OK if you like it like that, I once did one where the 2 halves could be different paintings and I STILL like it regardless of what others say.. :D

10-11-2006, 03:04 PM
Al, I would love to see this one when you finish it.

10-11-2006, 07:31 PM
Ok, I've been busy and haven't read here lately, but what a great idea! I have some of those lovelies in my studio space too. Give me a day or two and I'll show you!