Every new painting has to have a beginning and a completion. What happens between "start" and "finished" is totally unpredictable! I have been painting portraits intensely now for almost a year to get ready for the exhibit in May 2012, but each painting is new. Some paint themselves, the image forming on the paper beautifully and without angst. Not this one. The subject just tickled me - what could be better than a ten year old with red hair, freckles, and new teeth?! Same paper, same pastels ....... not working. Much time was spent wiping away a feature and doing it over, and over, and over, working to get it right. I'd think I have it, then, no, not quite.
Take a look at the almost finished painting. I hoped I had it, but knew I didn't. What was wrong????? So I wiped away the eyes (again), and really looked at the subject and at the painting. Sometimes I turn the painting upside down, or on its side, or look at it in a mirror to help "see" an error. Not having the eyes to distract me helped me to see the other small areas that needed tweaking. Lastly, I repainted the eyes. This time ........ got it!