Rainbow Art Journal – Red Column Woman

Someone asked me recently if I ever return to past works and have another stab at them in order to apply sharpened skills or a more developed style.  I do return time and again to certain subjects – zombies, Red Riding Hood, skeletal elements, mythology – but I don’t generally have another crack at a past artwork.  I thought, however, that maybe it could be an interesting exercise to take a few works in a medium I am more comfortable with -namely ink and watercolour – and try depicting the exact same subject using mixed media.  I decided to use some of my illustrations from my 100 Faces challenge.

First up for the experiment was my 85th drawing in the series, which I had titled “Confidence”.  I chose it largely because I was working in the red section of my Rainbow Art Journal and I had remembered how much I liked the effect of the bold red ink pooling and puddling.  I also chose it because it was an illustration I actually really liked in the series.  I lost the more diagonal composition, which I definitely prefer, and I think the new version of the face looks more sullen and bored than confident.  I am also not happy with that busy, blotchy background and may paint that out at some stage.  However, as first experiments go, it is not such a failure that I will abandon the whole enterprise.  Not just yet anyway.

17 Red Column Woman

8 thoughts on “Rainbow Art Journal – Red Column Woman

  1. As usual, Laura, I like everything you are unhappy with! I like this version better than the first – it seems to me that she looks more confident than the first one. The eyes and mouth are wonderful, I think. I like the background, too, which seems to set her off better. And I really like the skin tones you gave this one. Definitely a winner in my book!

    • Thanks, Ellie. Comments like yours are why I choose to share art that I am not entirely happy with. Your feedback helps me see things differently. I agree with you about the eyes. They are stronger here. I think a lot of my issue with this page is the background. I might find a way of making it more muted at some point. Or paint it over with a strongly contrasting colour. Thank you!

  2. When I first saw this, I immediately thought “Grace Jones”… So imagine how surprised I was when I went back to your original piece and read that your husband thought the same thing about that earlier version! It’s definitely something to do with the strong, angular shapes you’ve used for the hair and torso, although both of these ladies look a little more approachable than Ms Jones! I really like the expression on her face – it’s so calm and open – but I think I agree with you about the background. With the darker skin tone and that deep, rich red, I reckon something more neutral would make it even more striking!

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