I often look at one of my older paintings and ask myself 'what was I thinking', or better yet, 'why didn't I think more about how to achieve what my expectations' were for this painting.
A few days ago I was looking through some old photos of past paintings and came upon this little oil painting of a bunny. For such a small painting, it is 6" x 6", there is so many things wrong with it that I can learn from.
Looking at it now with fresh eyes I can see there is no sense of depth.
The foreground even though its in shadow, should be warmer than the background ... remember, warm advances, cool recedes. As the path recedes it should get cooler in color temperature as well as the yellows in the grasses. A cool layer of blue glazed across them would help them to recede more. The color temperature is wrong. Also, there needs to be some color snuck into the path even though its in the shade.
The foreground grasses even though they are in shadow I could have added more value variation so that the tall grasses visually come forward, and maybe exaggerate the texture of the grass in the foreground, reduce the texture in the middle ground and really obscure it in the background.
In the tall grasses forward I could possibly have added some darker values ... almost as dark as the bunny, that way, the bunny would be more anchored to the foreground and the viewer.
As I continue to paint, I'm happy to say, the more I learn.
I enjoy revisiting these older works and thinking about how I could change them, or how I could paint a similar piece to make it a better painting.
Do you ever go back to see how you could improve a past work and ask yourself 'what should I have done?'
H A P P Y E A S T E R