In my opinion the most obvious improvements are in the area of composition and values. These are the two main building blocks for any painting. As you can see, the new painting has several diagonals pointing to the main character, and a palm tree keeping the viewer inside the picture. The values (in another words the lighting) are more consistent in the new painting. The direction of the light is not obvious in the old painting. There are shadows pointing to several directions, and the lighting of objects conflict with each other.
The new painting also has a story, which an artist might easily forget when concentrating on the technical execution. And from a technical point of view, the edge variation has improved. That means there are both soft and hard edges being used. Usually the hardest edges are where the light is strongest, and the shadow side should have softer edges to add depth. It’s also important to vary the level of detail and keep the focal point (the pirate in this case) most detailed. One needs to stop the painting when it’s still fresh, instead of adding details to every part of the painting.
As usual, the painting process was published on my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/artofarisuonp…. Please consider liking the page if you want to have your comments heard during the process of any future paintings.