And then I effectively ruined the painting.

comments: 46

When I got to the face. I hate painting!!! [sobs plaintively]


Rats. Faces are SO hard. It looks like it has a lot of very subtle variations in the color across the face. A+ for effort.

Process over product!!

That's why I now tackle whatever part of the project that I perceive will be the trickiest, first. I didn't used to, but finally realized I don't waste as much time and effort that way. Much easier to start over near the beginning. Also allows me to not work myself all up in a lather, dreading it. Sorry it happened! At least you still have the process and the experience, right? (((hugs)))

I agree with the comments of trying to go over with acrylic (with watercolors you would be out of luck), and turning it upside down from your perspective. It is funny how our eye can trick us into "not" seeing what is really there. In all honesty though I hate painting people, they are so difficult. Animals and flowers are so much easier, atleast to me! Painting is like that, you gotta keep trying...:)

Could you print out the image again using the non-water color imagery, cut the face/body out out, and place it on top of the painted background?

So sorry. Take deep breaths and a few doses of Clover Meadow love.

Oh no! What a shame! As my Granny used to say, "If at first you don't succeed, try and try again". x

Life is an experiment, no? You have learned a lot about painting. That doesn't always help the disappointment, though. Clover Meadow might (we have a part corgi named Carlos--he is a great comfort).

well, you can't be good at EVERYTHING, right?!! and, anyway, I'm not sure I believe that you 'ruined' it... and, at the very least, you're modeling taking creative risks...

Be brave! Like most everyone said, leave it be for a little while. Worst case scenario, go get a couple of sheets of 8-1/2 x 11; recopy the face and paint both of those. Cut out the one you like best and paste it over the top. All better.

Oh nooo. I instinctively groaned when I saw the title of your post on Google Reader. I'm praying somehow it turns into a "happy accident" and it's really not ruined, afterall.

Alicia, Many an artist set aside a painting for months in their studio to keep on working it....they are never satisfied. It could be helpful to give it a rest too, and then comeback to the project. You just might find something great about it....ask Andy.

Just imagine how great you'll feel once you've worked out a way to fix it, don't give up!

Looking forward to visiting your blog more :)

deep breath. paint drys...dries? crap. how do you spell dries/drys?

ok. once it does it's thing, you can paint over it with gesso, white paint, or whatever, and you have a do over.

don't give up! it'll be faboo. take a breather.

Oh no! Is it really ruined?? Maybe you're being too hard on yourself?? Maybe you can change it into a more Picasso-esque style? Impressionist?

I understand your frustration - I've spent much time on a project and been pleased as punch with it and then did something that wrecked it. :(

Just walk away.. just walk away...
You can always go back to it later.

Don't give up, Alicia. Have you considered printing out another copy at the exact same size, cutting out the face, and transferring that on top of your painting layer? Then daubing the transferred image with alcohol gently to blur the inks and blend her real face onto the perfectly painted background in a painterly style?

Oh no. . .I'm so sorry.

Oh no... the whole time i was breathlessly reading your blog yesterday, I was thinking oh no - what about the face. My ideas - and i'm no painter, but i think the upside down idea is a good one.. and didn't you say glitter goes on last?? Have you glittered yet? I am wondering if that will make it better than you think. When you were talking yesterday about doing the face last - i was thinking - do it first! Then if you truly don't like it, you haven't wasted a ton of time... We are rooting you on - and know you will persevere in this, as in all things!!

Oh, hugs! You poor thing!

ya, gotta let go of that inner critic! way to keep at it! practice makes perfect!

Aww. You told that you were afraid to start with the face, because you were afraid you'd ruin it. Is it really ruined? Can't it be fixed in any way?

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.