Last week I was working on a new painting. It was going well and I was excited. My partner walked by the studio and I called him in to show it to him. He liked it, but with a big reservation... "she looks out of proportion". I had wondered about the same thing, but had convinced myself it was just that toddlers have short legs (which they do!). However when I looked anew there was no denying it, he was right. She looked strange.
"Oh no!" I said, "what am I going to do? The way I am working (using acrylic like watercolour) I can't paint over the top like I would in oil painting. There is no way to erase."
I had to do something. I couldn't deny that she needed serious redrawing. I left it for the weekend as we went up to Brisbane.
This morning I was rarin' to go, as I always am after a few days out of my studio. The sun was out, which equals me feeling happy and optimistic. I was up for an experiment.
I carefully looked at the figure's proportions. I rechecked my reference photos (but we know photos distort and even lie.) I downloaded some more photos of my step-grandchild (the model) and after careful consideration I had some idea of where the problems were.
Then I took out some sanding paper and started sanding. I was lucky, it worked better than I had hoped. The pen lines and acrylic sanded off fairly easily without taking off all the gel I had used underneath.
I had discovered a way to 'erase'. This opens up a freedom that I didn't have before. I am glad she was out of proportion so that I could discover this.