Wednesday, June 24, 2015

When is it Done?? How to know when your painting is resolved!

When is it done???

Something that artists struggle with is how to know when the painting is finished.  You don’t want to overwork a piece, yet you want it to be the best it can be.  I actually prefer the word resolved rather than done.  So how can you tell if it is resolved?  There are some tricks to help you see things that need fixing.

Trick #1 – Hold the painting up to a mirror and study the reflection.  You would be surprised what that will reveal. 

Trick #2 – Snap a photo of the painting and study it on a computer monitor.   This helps you look at it with fresh eyes.

Trick #3 – Just let the piece hang around on your easel for a few days and look at it periodically.

Trick #4 – It always helps to have a second opinion.  Have an artist friend take a look at it if you can.

All of these tricks can help you see something that needs tweaking.    I use them often and they help me see an area that is drawing my eye away from the focal point of the painting.    They also help identify perspective problems as well as other issues.

I used the mirror trick to identify what was bothering me about this painting.  I saw that the background was a bit too bright and tried to come forward and fight with the foreground.  Since the background has a goldish orange hue, I glazed it with a blue compliment to dull it a bit.  Voila, now the painting was resolved!! 

Life is a Carnival Glass, acrylic on paper 10 x 13

Choosing when to stop altering a piece is a personal choice.  You, the artist, need to be happy with it and that is what matters.

Please share any tricks you use to get it done!!!

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