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The above is a painting I posted almost three years ago, here. My class is going to try and re-work an old painting of their choice this week. I suggested to them that the techniques and skills they have gathered over the course of the last few years could aid them in this venture of taking something old that they are not too attached to and making it something new.

I have decided I do not like how I rendered the pond. The scene is overly peaceful to me.Β  I did not create a center of interest for the viewer’s eye. I also did not like the fact that the building in the background is lost with that cream color.


We have been working with ink, lately. I recalled a recent post with a backlit tree. I lightly drew a tree trunk over the left side of this and painted it in with blues and greens and added ink with an eye dropper while the color was still wet. Then I immediately blotted the surface of the trunk with paper toweling. This created a bark-like texture. I then used a rigger and very small round to create the branches and leaves. I balanced this with some leafy ink forms on the right side of the painting. Across the bottom, I used a razor blade and rigger to fill in the grasses with india ink. I worked a section at a time and spritzed these grasses with water. That is what created the fuzzy-like forms within the grasses. After this dried, I changed the building in the background to a red barn. Now, I can see it. I remembered my class on “little people” with Don Andrews and painted small cattle in the sweet spot for a center of interest.Β  I think I will never stop learning.

I have posted one other re-do here.


  1. Peaceful.
    So artists redo as poets rewrite! It’s all fun.
    Happy weekend, Leslie.

  2. Great rework! I particularly love the trees you’ve added.
    I confess to feeling doubtful about the cattle…

  3. Oh boy! I really like both versions, Leslie but admit that the second is more interesting! How beautiful!

  4. Great re-work! Thanks for describing the process again. I learn a lot. And it reminds I wanted to buy a rigger…

    • Thanks, Nuno. Yes…everyone needs a rigger! It’s the best for small branches and grasses.

  5. Definitely ‘adds’ that lifelike feel to the painting Leslie. That such small but intricate changes create such a big differences is amazing… and if you never stop learning, then neither will we… so fairs fair methinks πŸ˜‰ xPenx

    • Thank you, Pen! πŸ™‚ I really enjoy seeing another’s growth and it is fun to revisit something and improve upon it.

  6. Hooray for ink! πŸ™‚
    Beautiful framing with the darks in front. Makes such a difference! I love those cows laying the in the shade of the trees. What a great project! (And I surely hope to never stop learning either!)

    • You are right. The ink is fun to work with! πŸ™‚ Thank you, Cindy.

  7. I feel that a painting is never complete at any point of time and with a different mindset and approach it evolves further, loved the way this has been redone, such a lot of marked difference!

    • Thank you so much, Padmaja. I think that is why so many artists talk about not knowing when they are done working on something. I have a friend who is an artist who has taught me a lot. She keeps going and going until she can’t stand adding anymore. Her work is unique and incredible.

  8. My first thought as I scrolled down was “I LOVE WHAT YOU’VE DONE WITH THE PLACE!” I really like the changes you made. I don’t know if I would have gone back to one of my paintings that I wasn’t crazy about and re-work it, but you’ve given me something to think about. You were very successful with your redo.

    • Ha! Cattle add something to a field, methinks. πŸ™‚ I read about this in a watercolor book. The artist spoke of being able to learn something from our old paintings and the story we may be able to tell with them. He had some incredible examples of re-works that didn’t even look like the original painting at all. He turned some of the paintings upside down and re-worked them. I figured I needed to start to develop my eye a little better in this regard. It is really fun, like solving a problem. Thank you, Carol.

  9. Yes, the re-do is a more interesting and accomplished work.

  10. It is fun to go back and rework something that you didn’t feel was successful the first time around. I think there is a lot more visual interest here this time. Another artist friend suggested that if you feel a painting really can’t be saved, to cut it up for bookmarks. I did it to several watercolors from a watercolor class I wasn’t satisfied with, and you know what? The sum of the parts was greater that the sum of the whole. LOL I laminated them and then sold or gave them away.

  11. I like them both πŸ˜›

  12. Love the cows!

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