Have you ever looked at one of your pieces and thought, "I could do that so much better now!" Well, that's what happened with this piece. The original painting on the left was done back in 2009, when I was halfway through art school. It wasn't anything more than just a sketch I did for fun, evidenced by the superimposing of the DC comics graphic content.
The composition for that piece was pretty much straight out of my head. It was the first thing I "saw" in my mind, and I went with it. Looking back, I remember thinking that it was "successful" because I had effectively silhouetted Superman and the kids and created an interesting division of light and dark shapes. Flash forward to last month when I was thinking about doing a complementary piece called "Dark" about Batman and this new composition just popped in my head for the original Superman one. In my humble opinion it is a much stronger composition for a few reasons. It places us in the scene and reinforces the role of Supes as savior by angling the camera up toward him, while at the same time still keeps the silhouette and light/dark shapes.
It's interesting to look back at your earlier work and to note how much better your artistic eye has evolved. In my case, I believe that my experience, especially in terms of composing for narrative purposes, has helped improve my picture making abilities, of which composition is one. What about you guys?