This Article is About
3 ways
optical illusion
digital photography
foreground
funny thing
viewpoint
symmetry
habit
landscape
mirror
3 Ways To Check If Your Painting Is Working
Join 1000's of Authors at StreetArticles Today!

3 Ways to Check If Your Painting is Working

Never trust your eyes! This is true for the artist perhaps more so than anyone else. Why? It’s a funny thing but eyes tend to be constantly playing tricks with us. An obvious example is optical illusion images. Why is it that I immediately see a shape of a vase instead of the two profiles facing one another? I’ll leave the answer to that to the scientists. For the artist it’s enough to know that you shouldn’t trust your eyes…ever. Of course, most artists already know this but we do have a habit of forgetting it. Others often seem to be in a better position to see what’s in our painting (and the mistakes) much quicker than we are. The other day my wife remarked that the foreground in the landscape I was painting looked like water at the edge of a lake. It was supposed to be an area of field!

If only we could view our work with the eyes of others.

There are some ways to rectify this (and I’m not talking about an eye transplant).

For “viewing with the eyes of others” perhaps I mean “viewing from a different viewpoint.”

Here are a 3 ways, which allow you to look at your work “differently.”

Upside down: simply turn your painting round, stand a good distance away and look at it: Is there anything unbalanced about the painting now? Do any areas or colours jump out at you? Does anything you intended to look straight now look crooked? Think about your painting and also make a mental note about where your eyes focus. You don’t want people focusing on the corner of the picture and forgetting the rest, do you?

The mirror: this is especially useful if you’re painting faces. By reversing the symmetry of the work you can quickly see misalignments and imbalance. I’ve used this to identify mistakes when drawing eyes or seeing that one eye was far more pronounced than the other.

Photos: digital photography is wonderful. It allows you to quickly photograph and see the work in another format. Also by photographing your work in black and white you can get a clearer picture of whether the tones in the painting are working together correctly.

Use one or other of these methods during the painting process and it will ensure that you won’t go off track. It does seem very basic but believe me, if there is something which doesn’t belong in your painting, or which your painting needs, and you miss it, it will undermine the power of the painting and undo all the good work you managed to get right. This is true for all genres, whether it be realism or landscape as my former tutor used to say, “there is only good painting or bad painting.”


Street Talk

I really appreciate that Rob. It's really nice of you to say so.

Reply
  about 5 years ago

Great article Martin, found this through FB like Heather you have great writing qualities. You had me turning a painting, I bought years ago, upside down, I've always felt there was something wrong with it. Found nothing but still like it.

Reply
  about 5 years ago

I'm enjoying your writing style and humour. Also enjoying seeing things from an artist perspective. What you're saying makes good sense!

Reply
  about 5 years ago

I've really just started writing so thanks for that. I find it helps me stop and analyse aspects of my practice which I have learned to work through perhaps without thinking. I hope by sharing my solutions and ideas that others might get a bit of a head start.

Reply
  about 5 years ago
You May Also Like
3 Ways to Get Back at an Ex Who Really Hurt You
You know, if the ex had died it would be easier to take, wouldn't it? Dying is not like they made a decision to leave. How could they do that? It's just WRONG! I know how you feel. I woke up one morning and found a wedding ring and a…
By: Samuel Crumpton in  Relationships  >  Reconnecting   Jul 13, 2011  
1
  Likes: 33

3 Ways to Get a Girl Attracted to You!
I wanted to spend some time today and tell you about the 5 ways to get a girl attracted to you fast. Whether you're out in a loud place or even during the day, I'm going to teach you some on the field tested quality techniques you can use to…
By: Peter F. Rosen in  Relationships  >  Dating   Jun 27, 2011  
2
  Likes: 5

3 Ways to Get All You Need To Retire
As we approach retirement age, the burning question is, “How much money do I need to retire.” The question is actually, “How do I keep enough money coming in to be comfortable in my retirement.” Much of that question goes to what, to you, it a comfortable retirement. How much…
By: Samuel Crumpton in  Business  >  Entrepreneurialism   Jun 23, 2011  
0
  Likes: 1

Top 3 Ways to Attract Guys And Them to Notice You
What woman doesn’t want to know how to attract guys and keep them interested in her? Do you want to be like those women in television who seem to have all the luck when it came to attracting men? Don’t worry, if you want to attract guys then there are…
By: Ashley Kay in  Relationships  >  Dating   Jun 17, 2013  
0
  Likes: 1

3 Ways to Help You Get Over An Affair
You probably recently had your world fall down around you when you found out that your spouse/significant other had an affair. This can shatter families and couples. There are ways to help you get over an affair. First you need to give yourself time to think through all of your…
By: R.N. Hatta in  Business   Aug 08, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

3 Ways To Make Money Online For Teenagers
Are you a teenager? Do you have teenagers in your family? Then you're probably interested in looking at ways to make money online for teenagers, especially given how hard it is for anybody to find a job in this current economic climate. But, what do you do? Where do you…
By: Ray Boreham in  Internet and Businesses Online  >  Internet Marketing   Jun 30, 2011  
0
  Likes: 1

How To Build A List - Top 3 Ways
How you build your list determines the quality. You want your list filled with people who have something in common – especially problems you solve. Focus on that common interest. Figure out where your best future buyers, “Hang Out” online. That way you can get stuff about you in front…
10
  Likes: 5

Top 3 Ways Windshield Shades Work For You
The car windshield shade is a simple, inexpensive car accessory that is installed on the inside of your windshield. Having one can help you save money and maintain the look and value of your vehicle and its contents. It spans the width of your vehicle to block out the maximum…
By: Kent Clarke in  Automotive   Apr 04, 2012  
0
  Likes: 0

3 Ways To Boost Productivity When Your Job Is Online
These 3 productivity boosters will help you combat thieves that sneak in when you are sitting at your computer costing you time and money. They are critical not only for practical reasons but also tax purposes. While establishing a work space is the most obvious I’m going to share 3…
0
  Likes: 0

3 Ways to Finding the Best Crochet Pattern Book
What is your goal as far as finding the best crochet pattern books? Everyone is different when it comes to crocheting. One thing for sure, everyone wants something that can be worked around and easy to adjust. There are literally tons of crochet pattern books on the market. Just about…
By: Magic Crochet Magazine in  Book Reviews   Mar 19, 2011  
0
  Likes: 1

3 Ways To Boost Your Self Esteem
There are thousands of things like advertisements out there that can ruin ones self esteem. Growing up I have been bullied by many different people, mostly by teachers. They have told me, "Lexie your dreams are impossible, your never going to get that.." I grew up feeling stupid because I…
By: lexie in  Self Improvement  >  Self Esteem   Jun 29, 2012  
0
  Likes: 1

Google Adsense: 3 Ways To Make Money Online With Google Adsense
Google Adsense is a proven way to make money online. How can you do it? Learn 3 ways and start earning money online. At the same time and to be more effective, get a free no sign up 12 lesson Internet marketing course.
By: Devaraj Victor in  Business  >  Marketing   Feb 02, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

3 Ways To Make Money With Article Writing
If you have a talent or passion for writing, then perhaps you should consider what you can do with that talent and make money with article writing. Websites and web masters all over the world are looking for unique content on a wide range of subjects and niches and there…
By: Andy Denton in  Internet and Businesses Online  >  Ezine Publishing   Jun 01, 2011  
0
  Likes: 3

3 Ways Not To Make Money In Network Marketing Or Mlm
There are many reasons why people fail to make money or have any significant success attempting to be an online markter from home. Lets face it, the internet is full of more information than anyone could ever digest. People new to network marketing and mlm are overdosed with offers, schemes,…
By: Sylvester Vanerson in  Home Based Business  >  Network Marketing   Jan 23, 2012  
0
  Likes: 1

The Top 3 Ways To Get Wealth
Do you dream of being wealthy? - would you like to be able to put your children through private education or take more than one vacation a year? - perhaps you would just like to be in a position to not worry about where the money is going to come…
By: Andy Denton in  Internet and Businesses Online  >  Affiliate Revenue   May 03, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Article Views: 1986    Report this Article