This is how you Overwork a piece


Contributing Member
Hi folks. Well, this is what "overworked" looks like. It started OK... until I was dissatisfied with parts, but i carried on. Then it got to the point I just brushed off half the painting and reworked it. That happened THREE times!!
Suffice it to say, blending went out the window and the rich colour on colour got mangled. Detail blurred, I got increasingly frustrated and should have pulled the plug.
Anyway, I did stop, and this is where I got to.
Not happy, but thought that it was a valuable lesson. Pick my colour set, stick to my composition, don't blend too much.

How overworked - I ended up with TWO PLUS teaspoons of pastel dust from brushing off the work. Ah well, here it is, about 27x 27cm on Mi Tintes, Rembrandt and Sennelier.
Never the less, you have a nice piece. I wonder if, with the bright sky, there would be some darker areas.
Umm, along with the overworked sky holes, left hand scrub and trees, not to mention the water and foreground reeds... I have left it on the board so it can mock me... I will try again in a bit but I need to work thro the "horrors" first. I think it irritates me more as this was from my childhood farm days, so I know it's "wrong".
The details are lacking but, to the casual observer, there's a lot to like about this one.

You're probably always going to be annoyed by it, because you know how much you worked it. But the palette is still colorful, you do have detail in the foreground grasses, and your creek is wonderfully done.

Maybe you're being too harsh? ;) Hide it from your daily viewing and look at it in a week. Or a month. :LOL:
Well, it certainly isn't a bad painting! I like the way the composition points (red marks) to the path disappearing over the rise. If the band of trees (white mark) on both sides were darker, mightn't that emphasize that aspect a little more and add a bit of contrast?
Came out quite nice in my eye! I agree with letting it rest where you can't see it. We are always too hard on ourselves.
Hi Laika. Thanks, I agree and it fits with my "composition" , I just got lost after I rubbed out 3 times
I wouldn't call that overworked. I think it is quite lovely. ❤️
Glad you think so Sno. Terri is right maybe, we are our hardest critics. But i know from other works, i easily cross the line of "fiddling".
Hi Ayin. Thanks so much. If you were watching, you would be amazed at how much pastel dust you can get off paper 🤪
The scene has potential, i will retry sometime. Thanks heaps.
Very good painting Murray. Yes we get too close and critical and see things others won't ever in a million years. And putting them aside for a while helps. I think the detail is fine and the only thing I see on my monitor, which might not be the actual look of it, for my eye, I would only like to see more darks in the water and maybe? the sky so the painting has a bit more contrast. Maybe bash some cobalt or Prussian blue in there. Hey it's not my painting I don't care. :)

And sticking to a color set just seems wrong to me. Go crazy. Use them all. Use ones that don't exist. But my color sense is questionable and so take that for it's worth. :) And that size painting is difficult with pastels isn't it? I don't know never used them.

Are you working from a photo? I think forgetting most of the photo is better sometimes.

Nice work.
Hi John. Thanks for those comments, much appreciated. I put it away. Colour set? - hmm- i tend to pick a set, often quite a few, that fits the complements otherwise i sit staring at the box. It helps me at least, and keeps it all in check. The sky and water suffered from the overworking.... But yes, pastels impose a certain limitations, size, colours etc but less than you think, like anything there are rules to be broken. Thanks again