Monday, 23 June 2008

Self Critique

Sometimes I find it hard to judge my own paintings. It’s hard to look at a painting with a fresh eye, especially after hours of working on it. There are some things that I use to trick myself.
The easiest trick is to change the orientation of the painting by rotating it. Usually I rotate the painting so that the top is at the bottom. This helps me see shapes both positive and negative.

- Are the shapes the right size and in proportion?
- Are the shapes in an interesting arrangement?
- Have I repeated the shapes elsewhere in the painting?
- Are the negative shapes between the objects interesting?
I also squint at a painting; or take my glasses off. This helps me evaluate the values I have used.
- Are the values correct?
- Are the lightest lights and darkest darks near the focal point?
- Do the light/dark areas create an interesting pattern?
Looking at a painting through a mirror is also a good technique for tricking the eye.
- Is there depth in the painting?
- Is the painting predominantly warm or cool?
- Are the colours appropriate?
- Have I repeated the colours elsewhere in the painting?
- Do the colours and values lead the eye to the focal point?
- Is the focal point where I want it?
- Is there more detail near the focal point?
I don’t do all of these tricks for every painting and I don’t ask all the questions-at least not coconsciously. When I do notice that something is off, I make adjustments as I work. Often, when I finish a painting I sit it where I can see it daily. If I don’t notice anything that bugs me about it, I sign it and call it done.

1 comment:

Marilyn said...

A lot to consider especially for someone like myself who is totally self taught!