Image size 11" x 18"
This probably looks very familiar to you because I've painted it before. I wasn't happy with how all of the values were in the middle range so I painted a second one with a very dramatic background. I masked the subjects so that I could get a very smooth background and used colors that lift so that I could soften the edges after I removed the masking. Unfortunately, since they were liftable colors and I didn't get the darkness that I wanted with my initial wash, when I added more washes, the color lifted. I don't usually use an airbrush, but for this project, it worked perfectly to achieve the darkness and the variegated background. After removing the masking, I wasn't able to soften the edges anyway so I'm not sure what was happening - suddenly, the liftable colors weren't lifting.
I really like my idea for this painting but I can't really say that I'm thrilled with either version. I like the value contrast of this one but I should have used a different background color. This is too much green, even for me.
Here is a picture of the first painting:
I would love to hear your honest opinions of these two paintings.