Currently I am working on a graduate level independent study with a very talented lady. She brought up the point that her finished painting did not quite match her resource material and where did she go wrong. My response was that she did not go wrong at all. My philosophy of painting is this: “The finished result is always the prime factor. What transpired during the painting process or what techniques and materials were utilized to achieve the finished product are all immaterial.”
She did nothing wrong! The finished painting is quite lovely so who cares if it does not match the resource material exactly. On numerous occasions my finished painting is far different from the objective I started with. An artist is constantly making adjustments during the painting process – including correcting mistakes. I then sighted an example. A recent painting of mine started out to be a bright and sunny winter landscape. This changed rather quickly when nearing the completion of the painting I accidentally dropped a spot of gray pigment into the bright sky area. Despite some instantaneous responses to try and correct the mistake, the color was there to stay. The only solution was to change the bright sunny sky into a stormy sky. The finished result was a much more dramatic painting. You can see the results below.