|Smokin', 16x20, oil on canvas|
On him, I had noticed his jeans didn't read quite right; what was in the sun needed to be lighter and what was in the shadow needed to be darker; the reflected light bouncing off the wall didn't work as well as it could, so that got fixed. On his shirt, I realized I had made the neck of it too high on his neck, so I took that down and did some other minor adjustments. I realized that his head is in full sun, and yet I had his hair as pretty much a solid dark, so he needed his curls put in. Not quite ready to do his face, I simplified his backpack and the started on his arms. Once that was done, he got a much needed facelift. In the original I had tried to simplify the shadow side of his face, but in doing so, I had not given him any features at all. Very amorphous. Still wanting to keep that one big shadow shape, I was able to give him a complete nose and set of lips. To be fair to myself, this painting was done when I was trying to go back to my graphic roots, so the goal was to keep the shapes and forms more flat.
I can't decide if I am giving too much information out in these before and after's. If I should just post the new version as a new painting and forget the "before" version. My thought is that any artist struggling in their own work see what is possible and that there is almost always hope; from the viewer's perspective, my intent is to educate. If I talk about why I am making the changes, that the viewer can learn how to get more out of any painting they come across and become more discerning. Any and all feedback is always welcome!