Reference photo for Small Engine Painting
Small Engine Reference Photo

I have been working on a series of paintings I call my Creative Workbench Series.  I have done a Jewelers bench, a chaotic innovator’s bench, and a fly tying bench and now I am working on a small engine bench.  Technically this isn’t a bench, but it is a collection of items used to work on small engines, so it is an acceptable alternative to a bench.

Small Engine painting with a plastic box that is out of perspective
Small Engine painting with wonky plastic box.

Identifying the Problem

I thought I had made pretty good progress on my Small Engine watercolor painting until my husband looked over my shoulder and said, “It looks great but your plastic box is out of perspective”.  Well, when did he get to be an expert, I just ran him off and told him it looked great.  

The next morning I had a message from my mentor saying she loved the progress on the painting but the plastic box looks a little out of perspective.  

Apparently my plastic box is out of perspective,  which left me with a choice: 

  • To Fix, change the plastic box perspective.
  • Not to Fix, leave it alone.

If I painted with oil or acrylics, no problem, I would just paint over the offending wonky plastic box and fix it, however I work with watercolor paints, not quite as easy, but  I decided to bite the bullet and make the correction.  

Step 1.  Isolate

A section of the plastic box in the Small Engine painting was isolated for repair.
Isolation of repair section surrounding the offending area with painters tape.  


Step 2.  Lift Paint

Small section of the plastic cup in the Small Engine painting after it had been cleared of paint
Use “Magic Eraser” to wash away the paint and leave a clean white surface.


Step 3. Expose New Work Area

Plastic container far edge was enlarged to correct perspective
Exposed work are ready for new paint.

Step 4.  Correct the Painting

Repaired plastic box in the small engine painting
Completed Correction

I have only completed about half of this painting.  There are more sections to uncover, but I thought you might find it interesting to see what happens when a watercolor just doesn’t look the way you intended.  I am planning to have the entire Creative Workbench series displayed in a live or virtual show sometime in 2021, unknown right now.  I am keeping it just a little secret, but I have been giving my Subscribers sneak peaks in my periodic newsletter.  If you want to be the first to see the new paintings, provide your email address (see home page) and you will also receive a printable “Thistle” print.  Thank you for visiting my blog.



2 thoughts on “To Fix or Not to Fix, That is the Question?

  1. This is a fabulous lesson Katherine!!!!! Thanks so much for sharing it. I’d love to see it posted on Cabin Fever too if you are willing to share this post beyond the subscribers.

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