I’m always trying to sharpen my skills at evaluating my own work.
The absolute best time to do this is on day two of a new painting.
Day one got things started and developed to a certain point until painting fatigue kicked in and my decisions started going south.
On day two the first thing I do is sit down, notebook in hand, and begin training my eye to really see what the painting needs to be successful.
Below is a recent painting, Angelina, at the end of day one.
Here’s my critical list of things that needed attention;
- Light panel on side of face needs value adjustment
- Far arm too thin
- Dress at knee more rounded
- Soften fabric, near her hands
- Color to right of face in background more green, less violet
- Get rid of dark shape on right, use mid value grey green, (I like to put in all the general shapes that are actually in the background, and get rid of them later if needed, in this case it was distracting and added nothing to the scene).
- I also do a visual check of the drawing, dropping vertical and horizontal lines to see if things are lining up where they should be.
- And a distraction check, is there anything drawing attention out of the painting, things in the corners etc.
These may seem like little things, but they add up to a big disconnect in the painting.
Below is the finished painting, minus the rose in her hair, not sure if it was a compositional thing (the rose being the same shape and parallel to her forehead), or esthetic , too contrived, anyway I think it’s better gone.
I feel sure I would not have gotten this result without my critical list to start the day.