- Restate your lights and darks. They can get tentative and mushy as you work on a painting
- Soften your edges, often your edges are all that is wrong with a painting, are they too "hard"? Often as we work on a painting we make our edges harder and harder, rather than keeping control of them. Uniformly hard edges damage the cohesion and flow of a painting and give a naive or primitive look.
A HARD EDGE HAPPENS AUTOMATICALLY. A SOFT EDGE REQUIRES INTENT.
- Look at the painting in a mirror. Often mistakes you have grown accustomed to seeing will jump out in a mirror image. Hold a small hand mirror up to your forehead so you can look up into it, then look at the painting upside down and backwards. Our eyes get tired and begin to accept errors that we would otherwise spot. That's is one of the reasons why painter can so easily spot an error in someone else's painting. A mirror will give you a fresh eye and often a mistake you have grown accustomed to seeing will jump out at you.
- Turn the painting to the wall and don't look at it for a few days. This is the same idea as the mirror. It often is a shock to return to a painting days later and realize what you had been looking at without seeing.
- Look at the painting upside down, another way to get a fresh eye. Again you may see some errors you had missed.
- Get the books out. Find examples of master painters ( ideally dead master painters) and research how they handled the same problems that you are confronting.
- Take a photo of the painting and view it the size of a postage stamp. Often errors, particularly design errors will be easier to spot in a reduced image. There are such things as reducing glasses. They look like a magnifying glass but do the opposite. Billboard painters used to use them, but you can still buy them online, here They shrink what you are viewing . It is like running back about a hundred yards to view your painting. This does about the same thing as looking at a reduced photo .
- Ask yourself "what can I take out? Are there things in this picture which are extraneous? Are all the items in this picture really serving the collective? If not, purge em!
If you would like to know about the upcoming July workshop in New Hampshire please
click Here. I have included the cost of the workshop and information on the location in the White Mountains. I can teach you a whole lot, and probably save you years of screwing around. Why torture yourself ? Don't get left behind! You are worth it! Everyone's doing it. Act now.
I have been developing a series of painting exercises to teach root skills. I have a bunch of them now and am adding them into the workshops. I set my easel up in front of the class and lead them through a painting exercise that will clarify either a skill, technique or principle. I will be presenting one of these each day at the July workshop.