Learn from Michelle

One painting - Four Finishes

I did an interesting social media experiment a couple of weeks back.  I created a single painting and then altered it into four slightly different finishes.  Then I posted to social media asking everyone to select their favorite and give a reason why.

What a fascinating glimpse into individual art tastes this was!  

The image was posted in a panel like this...

Let's label these A, B, C, and D so we can look at each version and see some of the commentaries...

"I like the first one. The color harmony just feels balanced to me. Makes my brain go ....calm. If that makes sense."

"First... second is too saturated, third too lifeless, Even though I love the colors in the fourth, it’s not my fav for this painting... the first is perfect."

"All beautiful, but for me #1 seems more balanced, color harmony wise."


"Number 4 I find too contrasty, 1st and 3rd don't do it for me. For a portrait, I'd expect it to have warm tones, light, fresh, inviting ... And 2nd does it for me on those counts."

"#2 Il like the golden color. This the warmer one for me."

"No 2. It has an ethereal quality about it"

"I love them all but 2 is my fav with 4 in second place. I gravitate toward warm colors which is why 2 is my fav and I agree with above, that four gives her a little mystery."


Interestingly, this was the least favored portrait of the four.  It seems very "Restoration Hardware" style to me so the reaction surprised me just a bit!  Only one commenter seemed to pick up on the trend...

" ...#3 is my second favorite - I like the desaturated look that makes it look very current."

"Number 3 speaks to me. Timeless. However, you couldn't go wrong with any of them. Honestly, I think I would choose a different one on a different day depending on how I felt."

" I love the tones in #3. I also noticed that her face is cooler also. In #2 her cheeks are much rosier. Right now I prefer #3."


"First or last. I'm having a hard time deciding between the two but I'm leaning to the last, I really like the blue tones with the hint of warmth. The third is too monochromatic for me, the second one although people are drawn to warm tones, it seems too warm for the subject."

" I love them all; however, far right is my favorite. The cooler tones compliment her calm, cool and collected demeanor. It almost lends a soft 'haughty' attitude to the portrait."

"The last one. I like the cool of the blue against the warmer tones in the skin."

" #4 I like the complementary colors going on and how the blue brings out the hair."


Then there were the interesting comments about how the colors change the "mood" of the woman in the painting...

" I am drawn to 2 and 4. 1 and 3 seem more somber, and I want to see this woman as more vibrant. The brighter tones of 2 and 4 make her seem more in control of her space. In others, I feel like she is disappearing."

" I love them all; however, far right is my favorite. The cooler tones compliment her calm, cool and collected demeanor. It almost lends a soft 'haughty' attitude to the portrait."

"4 for me, I am drawn to cool tones, the tones complement her pose and expression, a little aloof and mysterious."

"This taught me how colour balances can change an expression.
4. Calm, composed
1. Businesslike, cool
3. Younger, vulnerable
2. Composed, Sad"

I so enjoyed this little social media experiment and now it's time for the big reveal!

Which painting is the original work?  The first one 😁

 If you'd like to see the Facebook post and read all the comments, you can find it here: 
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