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This is “Yellow House” the first version.  I posted it earlier on my blog.

…and this is “Yellow House2”, a do over.  As you know, my class has been working in watercolor and rice paper collage for a few weeks, now.  This week, each student is taking an old painting that they think could use something extra to give it a little more appeal and using rice paper collage in it.  Some of these papers are opaque enough to allow for compositional changes such as my adding the slab stairway in this one. Some of the rice papers have textures that compliment the textures found in nature.  I will let you be the judge as to whether this is an improvement on the original.  Just something new you can do with your old paintings. 🙂

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38 Comments

  1. I love the enhanced definition and higher contrast!

    • Thank you, Alex! This opened my eyes to so many possibilities for salvaging old paintings.

  2. Wow! What a difference in density, depth and mood. Both paintings appeal to me and yet provoke an entirely different aesthetic.

    • Thank you, Nancy. I think my liking for this and the citra solv collaging that I did a year ago is very telling. My love for watercolor is beginning to show up in my desire to use it more and more with other media.

  3. Wowzer! I absolutely love the do over. Not that I didn’t like the Yellow house before, but those slab steps drew me right in and the papers you put in the tree on the right to accent the foliage is wonderful. And the papers you used for the trunks of the trees in the background.

    You have inspired me to grab some of my old paintings and try and enhance them.

    As always, coming over here brings a smile to my face and some added brain cells to my head. Thanks!

    • Thank you for noticing these things. Those were the things I concentrated on! I added the steps to improve upon the composition. I think the abstract collage work I have been doing has opened my mind to “see” beyond my photograph and , instead, use it as a place to begin. I stumbled upon the tree trunks like a happy accident. I chose a paper that had little wood fibers running through it and tore it in strips and glued it on. I painted the trunks with burnt sienna and some diox violet. The fibers in the paper did the work. Thank you, Carol, for seeing just what I tried to improve upon. I’m going to work on some more old paintings to see if I can improve upon them, too.

  4. I remember this painting, Leslie! I loved it then, but you have added so much with the rice paper texture. I especially love the slab stairs! Wow!! I agree with Carol… coming here always makes me happy and inspires me!

    • Thank you for that about the slab stairs, Beth. Sometimes it is the little things that change something dramatically. Have you added papers to your acrylics at any time, Beth? I know a lot of acrylic painters do. Thank you for that comment about inspiration. That makes me feel good.

  5. I love the new stairway! It’s almost photographic, but organic enough to fit right into the painting. Although the original painting was really great already, I think the rice paper strings and and the added texture really enhance that whole front section on either side of the stairs. And the two large trees, particularly the right one with the newly purpled trunk, look so different now too. I love the second version. Though I was not around I don’t think, for the first. 🙂

  6. I really like the both equally, but I’m rather fond of the slab of stairs you added in the second one. I also admire the landscape difference in the second one as well. Both are excellent, Leslie!

    • Thank you, Debbie. A vote for that first one warms my soul. I tried to paint this scene in a very short period of time. I agree with you about the stairs adding something.

  7. This is beautiful, Leslie. The structure of the plants looks very real by adding the rice paper. I love the idea of adding new techniques on older work.

    • That is what I like the most about this rice paper. It really is not a realistic look but adds so much to the texture of a work it becomes fascinating to study. Thank you! 🙂

  8. Oh yes, definitely the second version scores over the original one Leslie.. this is such a motivation to take out our older works and revamp them and get better satisfactory results.

    • Thank you, Padmaja. Have you ever worked with papers or a texturing process with your acrylics? I am really having so much fun exploring this, like I enjoy the masa paper painting.

  9. Fantastic!

  10. Great job, Leslie!!!
    The new version is excellent and looks more “real”. But I love the first one too. It’s just very different. 🙂
    I wish I could live in the yellow house.
    Thanks for the tips! And thank you for visiting earlier 🙂

    • Isn’t that surprising that torn rice papers with threads and wood chips running through them can bring a painting into a more real image? I am so enjoying this technique, Cha. Thank you!

  11. Oh I do think this is a fabulous improvement, not so blurred feeling. It is stunning!

  12. This really took on a new and textured look. It is wonderful. I may use this to fix a problem spot I had in my Maine Coast watercolor. The lowest rocks should be defined but kept light. I am not happy with how they look and I think some rice paper may fix it. Now I want to review a lot of my other paintings that I feel could use something and apply this technique on it. It has that masa paper look which I love. Thanks again for another lesson.

    • If you are referring to this painting: http://louisedouglas.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/maine-coast-watercolor/ , I love it just as it is! Try this on another. Yes, I like this as much as working on masa paper, louise. This technique takes a little longer, for sure because I have to tear or cut the papers and plan which ones enhance what and then paint and paint. I also have to wait for each step to dry, but it is well worth it. Thank you for your visit and comment on this. With your recent work in collaging I figure this will be something you can add to your techniques in the future! 🙂

  13. This is definitely an improvement! Using any tactile element in a usually simple and clean to the touch piece makes things way more interesting. I agree that the “natural” texture to the paper really enhances the landscape part of the painting. I would like to see how this was done. Did you just use glue/water mix to adhere the pieces? Did you do it piece by piece? I really like the smooth parts vs. the textured parts.

    • I love your first sentence, Roni. You explore mixed media so efficiently in your work and I admire your work for that reason and more; like your color choices and your abstract compositions. They always look fresh and “very Roni”! If you click on the link, above, it will take you to many paintings I have explored this way and I talk about what I did in some of them. The glue is made from about 3 or 4 parts acrylic matte medium with one part water. I stroke the back of the paper with it as well as the surface once I lay it into the composition. I want a thin mixture so I can paint on the surface after it dries and so it does not disturb the watercolor pigment aroung the edges. Yes. I do it piece by piece and try and plan the shapes I tear. The tree trunks were actually tiny strips I tore from a rice paper that had wood fibers in it. Thank you!

  14. Wonderful painting as usual, Leslie! I love the foliage of the tree and the house among them, must be a beautiful place to live in.

    • This is a home located in Indiana on a small lake outside Indianapolis. I snapped a photo of it as my sister and I paddle boated by it. It looked so beautiful nestled into all that foliage on the hill. Almost like a young bird in a nest. Thank you, Anne! 🙂

  15. I love this! it’s like watching a wild life documentary on normal tv and then seeing it in high definition. the first seems perfectly fine until you suddenly see alk these amazing details pop out in high def!

    • 🙂 Your comment makes me smile, Nicola. Thank you for such wonderful comparisons!

  16. When I want to take a break, I sometimes find “difference” games on the internet. I enjoy spotting slight variations. So you just gave me the opportunity for a little relaxation and rest. I see the difference in the trees – plus you gave us an openning to access the house. I like your technique with the stones steps. They are so real with the shadowed bottoms.

    • “difference games”? I dare not look for them or I will get hooked. You are right, though. There is not a lot of differences between the two except for the inclusion of the stone steps. To me? The top one is an image like a dream and the second one is solid and textured, more like the real image. Thank you for the comment and tip on “difference games”, Amy!

  17. Leslie, both paintings are very nice. I am a big fan of using rice paper to add texture to foliage. It gives a really natural effect. I love the glow on the sides of the house. Feels special.

  18. Wow, what contrast! I’m learning a few changes can make a huge difference. Thanks for posting this

  19. I love it! I think I’ll go and have a look at further enhancing an old watercolour of mine that already has tissue and gesso on it, but with a couple of years more experience now I’m sure I can do better. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Oh, you are welcome. I have just begun to revisit old paintings as I learn new techniques. I don’t think I was brave enough or practiced enough, earlier, to do this. To me, this helps bring the “creative” forward. Thank you for your comment and visit, Stephanie.


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  1. By Playing with an Old Painting | Leslie White on 07 Jun 2013 at 7:02 pm

    […] I have posted one other re-do here. […]

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