I often find returning to a painting more difficult than starting out. When I begin something, I usually have a fairly clear idea about what I want to do and there is a sense of urgency in getting that down. When I return to a painting, it is different because now there is something there and while there is a desire to keep going, there is also a certain anxiety not to mess it up. The danger is to tread too cautiously and drain the life out of the piece with tentative brush strokes and lack of experiment. Since these two pieces were near completion when I left them last, this fate was less likely although perhaps that is ultimately for you the viewer to decide..

This is the first painting as I left it below. You can compare it with the finished version underneath. I’ve added more detail to the grasses in the middle ground using a combination of green and red inks and a bristle brush. I’ve also tidied up the mountains in the background and darkened the left foreground with more green ink. Finally, I mirrored the white grasses on the right of the brown furrow with a broad stroke of white and gold paint.


Bog painting as I left it




Finished bog painting




Here’s the second painting I worked on with it’s finished version beneath.


Golden Bog by Deborah Watkins




Finished Bog Painting



I’ve changed this one quite a bit so hopefully it hasn’t lost too much of the clarity that it had.

I decided to darken the mountain in the background to make it recede more and I’ve added lots of colour and texture to the grasses in the foreground. I wanted to bring some green back in to the piece and I also wanted to define the cut bog so I straightened some of the dark brown lines. Finally, I added a wash of ink to the sky to give it a little more depth. I’m calling it finished. What do you think?