In my workshops I always tell my students that if they truly have a painting that they are positive cannot be fixed, I will be happy to take it and demonstrate the idea that nothing is ‘unfixable’.

In Cloudcroft, New Mexico a student handed me a painting she had worked all afternoon on – and she asked me to demonstrate what I said.I enjoyed helping her see that she really almost had it finished. Her composition was sound and the heliconia flower was painted beautifully.

  • First I glazed aureolin yellow over the left background and the right leaf. I took care not to disturb the nice lavender she had introduced in the left background and extended it to the other side of the blossom.
  • I added dark darks in a shape that would better show off the blossom and included some gaps in the leaf.I glazed a bit of cobalt blue over half the angled leaf for an illusion of depth. I see now I could have used that blue in the gap just below the blossom tip…ah – next time. Or I could still do it.
  • I punctuated some darks here and there, which enabled an entire area to appear more interesting.I emphasized, very subtly a few shapes that were already there so the background would just look a bit more deliberate, yet still unfocused.
  • I did NOT touch the lovely heliconia flower.