Autumn's Last Leaves
I struggled a bit with this one. I started out painting it exactly like I saw it, but I always run into problems when I do that. It felt boring, blah, and as if something were missing. I then had to remind myself that I don't and shouldn't try to paint it just like I saw it. When I try to paint more realistic, my paintings tend to tighten up and I'm never satisfied with the results. I need to remind myself to loosen up and play with it.
I'm still not sure if I'm finished with this piece yet. I've been looking at it all week trying to figure out what it needs. Yesterday I realized I hadn't put the leg on the crow. It was amazing how a simple little bird leg made such a big difference! I paint on watercolor paper and always start a piece by penciling the size of my painting on it. Like this one is 11 x 14 on 12 x 16 paper. So I end up with white around the edges that aren't part of the painting. Usually I don't find this very distracting, but with this painting I did and after I cropped it off in Photoshop, I was really surprised by how much more I liked it. I think a little time away from it is needed, which thankfully the kids and I are going to my parents for the weekend. We are going to go see "How to Train Your Dragon" on Saturday in Milwaukee with grandma and my nephews. It's a live show with huge animated, flying, fire-breathing dragons! How could we pass that up?