Ophelia - Evolution of a painting.

Sometimes an image isn't just finished when you think it is. My interpretation of Ophelia is such a painting. 

I originally published it in March 2016. A few month later I wasn't happy with it anymore and changed it a good bit. Now in December 2016 I wasn't satisfied with it again. 

Here is what happened: 

Ophelia (March 2016)
Here is the original painting I produced in March. The idea was to give the original story a slight twist. What if Ophelia, turning all mad over her loss, killed herself instead of accidentally drowning in the river? Back then I was obsessed with showing everything. But as we know, if everything is equally important, nothing is important. Which leads us to...

Ophelia (Summer 2016) 
The second attempt. As you can see, I established a spot light, tuning the rest of the image down. The focus is much better now, with little spots of interest. But it is still behind it's potential.

"Ophelia" by Sebastian Becker

"The human brain is so powerful at associating, that the simple disc-shape on water will be interpreted as waterroses."

So now I have dared to go all the way in cutting unimportant information:

Therefore I reframed the piece, so that we are much closer to the subject. This should give us a more intimate feeling. I also merged the areas of light and shadow into simpler forms. No more dotted spots of light that make the image noisy. Placed her leg completely in shadow now, because it is not important to the story. In order to work out the area of light I lightened up the blood in the water a good bit. It was too dark before and would have cut into the shape of the light area.

Notice that I also simplyfied the waterroses. We don't need all the detail on them (which was wrong, too). The human brain is so powerful at associating, that the simple disc-shape on water will be interpreted as waterroses. I also added some more of those and worked in some overlapping in order to give a sense of depth and to encorporate the idea, that the roseleaves are floating on the water and Ophelia is laying (at least partly) under water. Lastly I reworked the face, simplyfing the hair and trying to get rid of the botox dugface she had before.

Here's a tip: Squint at your painting, like, alot. If you see anything that is not important to the main story, get rid of it. Merge it into a shape of shadow or light, depending on wherever your details are. If the are in the light, make it a shadow and vice versa. If it is completely unimportant then cut it out completely. The piece will only benefit from it. The most striking pieces are often the most simple.

"If you see anything that is not important to the main story, get rid of it. [...] The most striking pieces are often the most simple."

And now, have a good one and till next time
- Sebastian

PS: I will really try to be more active with this blog. *fingers crossed*
PPS: Also let me know you opinions in the comments...

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