For me the creative process demands that I continue to be open minded about what is best for the painting. Often I have to destroy a good thing for a better thing. The bottom snapshot shows the painting as it was when I brought it back into the studio from a painting session on the canal bank where the colors of the rock and sky were laid in.
In the middle photo one can see that I have scrubbed in a warm red oxcide underpainting over the lower half of the canvas and I have finished the sky and much of Prayer Rock (as finished as anything gets while there is paint in my brush and the painting is on the easle). The standing couple in the foreground are probably not going to make it and I have replaced the small scraper with a wheeled scraper and a team. In the distance is a wagon and some workers. Even as I work in color I am still pretty loose and sketchy, including the guys on the lower right and the one character pulling the other out of the way of the oncoming water.
Further along as the painting progresses (top picture) there are even more changes. I decided Byron Sessions, the leader of the project, needed to be on horseback and so he replaces the scraper and the team in the lower left corner. That scraper and team are being moved to the other side of the canal (you can barely see them). The wagon in the distance is being replaced by a workman, scraper and horse and the people on the lower right hand side are taking shape. The running children are still little ghosts.