Re-work on a “finished” Silk Painting…

October 10, 2007

Do you sometimes go back to an already finished project and re-work on it again? Does this make sense?

Sometimes it does – but more often it is better to re-start from scratch.


In January this year I had finished a silk painting called “Ricefields at Dawn” but I was never quite satisfied with it. The very moment when I saw ricefields built in terraces in southeast Asia for the first time I was hooked by the sight. They had something magical no matter how hard the life of a rice farmer is. The mist that starts to rise early in the morning when the sun is just above the horizon and the muted colours that still cover the plains – all that creates a very special mood. There is some melancholy involved that is hard to describe with words.

So the piece I wanted to create had to have muted colours, no greens or yellows (as in full daylight) but rather browns with a slight purple touch to it and only some lighter areas that would be covered with water and thus reflecting the first light of the morning. I think I proceeded quite well but when the piece was “finished” it looked a bit dull to my taste but I had no idea how to change it.




Now after I had finished lately the new project “Canyon”, a triptych, where I used some layers of acrylic lacquer on the finished silk painting and realized that this was the icing on the top – colours became incredibly saturated – I thought this might help the “Ricefields” piece also. First I added some more colour glazes here and there to increase the purple/reddish shimmer and then applied 2 layers of glossy acrylic lacquer. I could not believe the difference it made – although you would not recognize it that much on the computer but in reality there is a significant change – specifically when the piece is lit by the right lamps.

So it really can help to go back to a piece and simply do a bit of re-work. It may not even take a lot to improve the work but it is worth while to have a second thought about it…



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