Sometimes, despite all your planning efforts, it just doesn't come out the way you expected. Or you realize something you didn't think about during your planning stages and it becomes glaringly obvious in the finished product. For a while you try to deny it. Oh, what's the harm? It's just a small part of the painting, anyway. Maybe no one else will notice. Right?
But you know better. You see it flashing at you like a neon sign. No doubt about it, it's just not working.
If you spend a bazillion hours on a painting like I do, you get to a point where you really, really just want to finish it. It's not that you didn't enjoy working on it. But you don't want to feel like you're spending your whole life on one painting. So the last thing you want to do is add more hours by changing something that's already finished. Ugh!
But sometimes you just have to. It's precisely because you put so much time into it that you have to fix it. After spending all those hours on it do you really want to let one little thing diminish the whole painting? No, of course not.
Here, below, is a portion of my recent bluebirds and peaches painting. The first picture is how I originally painted it. But it just wasn't working. The two birds were like mirror images of each other. The lower bird looked too stiff for his downward angle. He looked off balance, like he was about to fall right out of the tree.
Now, this was a painful realization for me because those feathers take a long time to paint! Knowing I was going to have to repaint at least some of the bird's body to fix it was hard to swallow. But, it really needed to be done. Here is the revision.
Despite having to repaint the entire wing and body of the bird, I think that little change made a huge difference. Opening the wings just a little made the bird look as if he were balancing his downward angle, perhaps getting ready to fly down from there. The wing casting shadow on the side of his body also gives him more dimension. He looks much more natural now.
Maybe some people would say it's a small thing and not worth all that work. But I feel so much better about the painting overall because of it. And isn't it important that we, as artists, are satisfied and proud of our work, regardless of what others think of it?
And here is the whole painting, finished.