Yesterday it was a sunny day so I went down to the local creek which I had previously spotted for a potential en plain air sketch. It was pretty hard going sitting on the edge of the creek culvert with myself, my iPad or my pen threatening to slide off into the rocky creek below. But the little baby waterdragons shuttling past my feet were the cutest and made up for the discomfort, even with all my struggles of capturing the image. After an hour I wasn’t really happy with what I was producing as per above. Instead of going from shadows to highlights I dived in all willy-nilly with colours, colours everywhere, a bit too excitedly methinks; once the colours were down it was hard to shift the contrast. The scene was a bit of a challenge with the speckled, dappled sunlight, the colour of the rocks, the water, the reflections the shadows and the highlights. I think my eyes were a bit dazzled and were having trouble with the extreme contrasts. After coming home and going “humpf” I kept looking at it wondering what I could change to make me like it more. It was all a bit dreamy, maybe a bit of photoshopping to up the greens would cure it? So I brought it into photoshop to see what we could do with it. Here it is below using Selective Colour to up the neutrals and the greens which consequently increased the contrast:
Well, that increased the drama but it was all a bit too intense so I dropped down the saturation:
Ah, that’s getting better. And then instead of turning on/off preview to see what it previously looked like, I accidentally pressed the colourise button which produced this:
Ooooh! Would make a nice etching!
So there’s a bit of a breakdown to what you can do if you aren’t entirely happy with a painting. For me I intend to go back and give the scene another try.