Sometimes, no matter how many hours and how much effort you put in, a particular artwork never comes together the way you had imagined. So what do you do with this unsatisfying piece that has taken hours of work? You have two options at this point: Rework or start again.

It can be hard to know whether to give up on a project if the possibility of salvaging it is always right around the corner. To help you find the fullest potential in all your endeavours, we’ve rounded up five clever ways you could rework a piece of art that just isn’t working out.

Section It

Focus on the components of the piece that you are proud of and make them individual focal points. If you started with a large landscape drawing, why not portion it out into snapshots of the overall scene? Sometimes uncomplicating a design can help make the idea behind it more clear.

Crop It

Along the same lines as sectioning your artwork, you could alternatively crop it and just ditch the parts that aren’t working. Again, if you had a large landscape canvas, you could see what would happen if you thinned it into a panorama or portrait format.

Frame It

Maybe all that is missing is that finishing touch – the frame. In the same way that an outfit never seems complete without shoes or a present complete without a bow, sometimes you just need to package your artwork in a pleasing way. Try removing it from the sketchbook or easel and see how it would look as a finished product. Even if it’s not quite ready, viewing it in this context may allow you to more easily visualise what the next step should be.

Transform It

If you are working on a pencil drawing and it just never seems quite complete, perhaps it was not meant to be a sketch. Why not try the same design in watercolour or pastels?

Ditch It

When all else fails, it could be time to move on. This does not necessarily mean that you need to toss the piece in the trash, but maybe just move it to the bottom of your to-do list. When you revisit it after successfully completing a different project you may have the refreshed creative eyes that you need to finish it. Then again, you may also realise it just was not meant to be and there is no shame in that, either! That is what drafts are for.



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