Unbroken – progression of a painting #3

Kill your darlings!

That is advice writers are often told. Many people take this to mean that a writer should kill their characters. In some cases, that might be true and just what is needed to be done to help a story along. However, the advice goes deeper than that. Writers often find that they have a favorite line in the story and this line needs to be deleted. It’s a hard thing to do, but it does improve the story. It’s hard though, because we love that line so much! It could also mean to watch for crutches — words and phrases that are used frequently. A photographer recently put up a display in the mall and every time I walk by it, I can see his crutch; he likes to pose his women with a certain tilt to her head and with it turned the same direction. It’s a habit for this photographer — his go-to pose. So, when his pictures are all displayed like they are, every photo looks the same. It’s a darling he needs to kill. (My opinion)

I realized that I didn’t want to touch the bottom shore where the view is “standing” but I realized that I needed to lower the waterline. But I had darlings! I loved the little rocks in the piece. They were my reasons for loving the piece before I started redoing it. To me, they were just perfect.

They had to go. They distracted and no longer belonged in the piece. Agony!

I had to kill my darlings.

Before I did though, I took pictures of them. I share them with you now. They are forever gone from the canvas, but saved in pictures. Here they are:

Unbroken (progression) 48×30 oil on canvas Dawn Blair ©2015

Unbroken (progression)
48×30 oil on canvas
Dawn Blair ©2015

Unbroken (progression) 48×30 oil on canvas Dawn Blair ©2015

Unbroken (progression)
48×30 oil on canvas
Dawn Blair ©2015

Unbroken (progression) 48×30 oil on canvas Dawn Blair ©2015

Unbroken (progression)
48×30 oil on canvas
Dawn Blair ©2015

In the end, my waterline got lowered and my darlings destroyed.

I kept the viewer area dark as I didn’t want to distract from the painting. I filled in the trees and repainted where clouds threatened to take over the branches. Here’s the “final” painting.

Unbroken 48×30 oil on canvas Dawn Blair ©2015

Unbroken
48×30 oil on canvas
Dawn Blair ©2015

Now I do use “final” in quotes because this is it’s current state. I knew something was missing though. I asked one of the local art teachers to look at it and he kindly suggested a couple changes. After the show, I will be making these changes because he was spot on. That’s why it’s always good to have an extra set of eyes on your work! So, after Art & Soul of Magic Valley, I will make the changes and post the final, final picture for you to see. It’ll be a bit though since the show is going on through Saturday.

Yes, you only have until Saturday at 2 p.m. to get your vote in for this piece. Do it now!

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