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I must receive this question at least 3-4 times a week.

Yes. We can always go back and correct a painting.
Lion Portrait Yesterday was a good example. I’m working on a lion portrait. He’s sitting just at the edge of the jungle, watching the dinners go by. Sharp teeth and powerful jaws. Only something’s not right. I can’t figure it out. So I go over to the computer and am browsing the email. Margie has sent me one that says the eye is wrong.

Immediately I glanced over to the lion and she’s dead on. So I fix the left eye and what a difference. I also have to change the jaw since studying the reference photos has indicated another error.

Done, smiling, happy, I sit back down at the computer and reread Margie’s note.

I had fixed the wrong eye.

Quickly glancing back at the painting I realized two things.

First, the left eye did need fixing. Secondly, the right eye now looks like a poor genetic mutation. Grabbing raw sienna, I heavily cover the right eye, except for one small correctly placed eyelash.

What can we learn from this?..

  • Seek other opinions.
  • Study, study, study your reference photos
  • Never be afraid to go back into either a wet or dry painting and make corrections
  • And its OK to correct, re-correct, re-correct, re-correct, etc.. One of the things I learned in figure painting is the necessity to constantly re-paint, re-paint, re-paint

What shall we paint this fine Saturday?