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This one was teetering on the precipice of abandonment for a short while. It began as a simple pencil sketch, followed by watercolor washes — that refused to do what I wanted them to do.

So I let it teeter there for a while longer,….

Shadows of a Doubt

Shadows of a Doubt

A day later, and refusing to admit defeat to a piece of paper, I had at it again.  Again, it refused to do what I wanted.

When I entered the studio yesterday morning, it sat there on my drafting table, silently mocking me.  I picked it up and dangled it in a very threatening manner over the waste basket, when the little light bulb in my head began to shine,…

… if this fledgling work refused to become the painting it was supposed to be, then it was fair game for experimentation.

I switched from watercolors to acrylics.  Prussian Blue was coaxed into bleeding upwards, while Payne’s Grey was allowed to bleed down.  I scrubbed severely thinned Payne’s Grey into the previously failed background, then began pulling the subject’s highlights forward and pushing his shadows backwards with more opaque pigments, then picked his finer details out with four different tones of color pencil.

I had my doubts, yesterday morning, when I first began reworking the painting — but now I’m wondering if the painting needed to be something other than what I had in mind.