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Friday, June 1, 2012

Trumpeter Swan painting in pastel revisited

Ever since I framed this piece I felt it was inadequately painted. I hung it in my bedroom where I could see it everyday upon awakening, to remind me that someday I had to improve upon what I had done wrong.  I always felt it was too dark and gloomy overall, the birds lacked contrast against the water and the sunspots on the rear bird screamed at me to remove them. My biggest mistake was that I had painted the birds exactly as they appeared on my reference photo...They were swimming under a tree and the area was poorly lit due to the deep shade... and  then there were the distracting sunspots!

You apparently learn from your mistakes however and  I have since learned to use my artistic license more freely. I like to think that the painting has been improved upon; if not, I take it as a lesson and leave it at that.

avian painting in pastel by Colette Theriault
original version

"Family Outing"
22" x 11"
Trumpeter Swan Painting in Pastel by Wildlife Artist Colette Theriault
new version 


  1. Colette,
    I take the opposite tactic with my paintings. I turn them against the wall and try not to look at them.
    After some time, weeks, months, years, without seeing them, then I can have a more objective eye.
    Whenever I get unsold paintings returned to me by the gallery, is when I can see the flaws that were never apparent before.

  2. Hanging it up is a wonderful idea, Colette... this way you can look at it everyday...and one always see that "something" that is just not right. I love this truly produced a beautiful piece.