From time to time I will get a painting back from a gallery that for whatever reason didn't find a home. I know that shouldn't affect my feelings towards my painting but it does, and often I will try and figure out exactly what isn't working, it might be the frame, or maybe the wrong gallery with a clientele that doesn't care for the painting or maybe the painting just doesn't work as well as it could. This painting "Chained Melody" is 33"x35" and frankly, I love it, it is a painting that if I could afford to keep I would but... it eats light. I did a bit of glazing on this painting and just like a stained glass window if this painting doesn't get a bunch of light it looks black, or at least too dark. This first picture shows a few of the changes I have begun to make in the painting, first of all the blue went a lot lighter and more towards a cerulean than the ultramarine it was. I am also kicking up the brassy golden color in the horns, at this point I have done the first two horns and you can see how big the change is particularly when looking at the noisy end of the trumpets. The changes will add another week of work into a painting that already has a month in it so far, but so far I am really happy with the improvements I've made.
Here is a detail, not quite there yet but it doesn't feel too dark anymore.
And, here is what the painting looked like last week, you can see that the brass looks a bit more tarnished and the still life starts getting lost in the dark blue color on the right side of the painting. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will be worth all of the extra work.