Simple Changes That Make A Big Difference

7:06 AM

Monarch Butterfly on Globe Thistle
Ink and Watercolor
The drawing for this piece of art has been sitting on my desk for a while. It took me a while to realize I was avoiding painting it. In its former life, it was a full page sketch with the background mostly abstract containing suggested shapes and lots of greens, yellows, blues and violets.

Meh.

It didn't excite me and it was a lot of space to paint. Especially when I wasn't all that excited about it. (I don't know about you, but if I'm not excited about painting something, I tend to do a lousy job at it.)

After realizing I was resistant to tackling the piece, I began the process of sussing out what the problem was and it was mostly the background. It took up a lot of real estate and it didn't really add anything (IMO).

Playing around with ideas, I scratch out some thumbnails looking for a better overall use of the space.  I was looking for a composition that excited me:
While they're not a lot to look at, thumbnails do the job of visualizing possibilities. Starting at the upper left, I started with a smaller version of the full page, limiting the background and adding a title at the bottom.

I then decided to break the border and put titles at the top and the bottom. I then moved on to putting the title along the right side. From there I abandoned the title idea and put in an erratic line for a border, and—eureka!

I decided to break the border AND put the word, monarch, down the right side, as part of the border.

Once I started drawing the page again, I scaled the box back even more so that butterfly's wings would break through on each side.

That made the stems kinda short and I would have lost one of the leaves, but by leaving them outside of the box, I added a little more interest.

After the painting was done, I decided to add splatters (mostly because I need to camouflage some errant drops of paint). Splatters are an easy way to add energy as well fill in "too" much white space (if that's even possible. I've never had too much white space, but I digress...).

In about half the time it would have taken me to create a full page, I had a page that I not only liked but I'm looking forward to sharing with my class at Keeton's Office and Art Supply on Saturday, June 25th. If you can, please come and join the fun!

Please click Keeton's name to find more info on signing up on the class.

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5 Creative Thought(s)

  1. It is so true that one cannot do a good job on a painting unless you like what is going on with it. I love the way you wrote monarch on the side of the rectangle within.

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  2. Laure love this piece. So glad you shared how you changed it to such a delightful painting. Hope you are having a great day.

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  3. This is the proof that when you take the time to explore your options you can make a super piece out of what you were thinking was just "meh". I tend to rush and need to learn to do this more.

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  4. Hi, I'm finally catching up on your past postings ..... so true that it is hard to work on something that just isn't clicking ..... but so nice when you began to think 'outside the box' .... or rather, in the box!

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