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Red Hammerhead

 Red Hammerhead. Oil on canvas. 2013. 30x24

Hello, Learning Experience Painting. Nice to see you again!
I wanted to paint a shark, because I'm terrified of sharks. I've got a shark phobia, intense enough that often the mere sight of one triggers a strong fear reaction. Considering this, I wondered what it would be like to paint one. I had to try it.
I gotta say, though, I'm not particularly happy with the result. I painted this when I was in a bit of a slump, feeling frustrated and unhappy just in general. It happens sometimes. I feel like my heart just wasn't in it. Which is a shame. But at the same time: I learned a lot. So that's good. I know what went wrong. I know what I'd like to do differently.
In this case I don't think I should have tried to do such a realistic shark. I actually like my first layer of this painting (scroll down to see it) much more than the end result. I should have stuck with that rougher, bleaker style. That conveys the way I actually see sharks, and I think it's a stronger and more interesting image.
Like I said, I was feeling disenchanted. I was not doing my very best. I didn't handle the colors well, or the shading. Or much of anything, really, though most viewers agree that they really like the water. I lost sight of all my goals and intentions and wasn't feeling anything by the time the painting was done.

First Layer:

Second Layer: