Even though I did several small b&w sketches to design the previous version of this painting I still had trouble because I didn't really know what I was going to do. I think it is very important when you are trying to simplify a painting and reduce it to its essential shapes to have a clear idea what before starting. In the previous version I was "trying this, trying that" and of course ended up with a bit of a mess. (See also the previous post-"Figure Study" about "Overworking."
Another interesting thing was that the key to the redo was to move the figures out to the edge of the main shape and thus extend the silhouette. This is a fascinating example of self revising as discussed in "The War of Art" written by Steven Pressfield, a great book.