Brooke at Rest, oil on linen
Staring at the images of the earlier stages of this painting, (see last post) I can easily see that in the process of building the painting I lost the gesture somehow. Mainly, I lost the slouch, the relaxed curve of her back. The more I looked at it, the more I felt I needed to have that slouch back. I decided well, there's nothing to lose here because I don't like what I have, as is.
It seemed like an easy fix, but upon trying to figure out what needed to happen, I realized that to move the spine means moving everything else too. The head had to be moved to the left and lowered. In the course of doing so, I ditched the red scarf thingy. I thought in the previous version, the red fabric made too big a statement. I left a little bit of it, like a hair band or a ribbon of some sort, mainly for color accent but I wanted a more generalized head - I opted for a tight bun that I see dancers always wear. Of course, it meant that I had to repaint the head entirely, so that's what I did.
Curving the back outward meant that the front had to go inward, else the torso would be too thick. I repainted the torso.
Moving the torso didn't affect the positions of her legs because her hips stayed where they were, but I was bothered by her left (the one closest to us) leg having too much of a "sausage effect". I decided to bring her other foot closer to the body, so the left knee would overlap the right heel, creating a continuous shape. Doing so created an isolated triangle framed by her leg masses, but given the choice between that and a big sausage, I thought it was a better choice. I did lose the rough, transparent and textural quality that the original leg had, (because I had to paint it opaque to cover it up) but that couldn't be helped.
Moving the leg meant I had to repaint her hand, too. I'm still working on the gesture of it. It's a tricky thing, to say the least.
The background had to be redone also, because there was considerable shaping from the outside.
So pretty much, I ended up painting the whole thing over! Looking at it now, I think I can work on it some more. It's interesting to see how the painting keeps changing on me. It's got a life of its own, that's for sure~