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Friday, April 27, 2018

An Idea for Evaluating Your Work with a Fresh Eye

'Beach Dreams'      16 x 20         pastel          ©Karen Margulis
available $350
Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. Even better is a picture with words! For today's post I decided to share my process of finishing an unfinished demo painting. Instead of listing all of the things I did to finish the painting I made notes right on the photo of the original unfinished painting. You can scroll back and forth to see the changes I made.

Sometimes a demo done at a workshop is not meant to be a finished painting. Sometimes it is just a way for me to share certain concepts or ideas. I often finish these demos during my lunch break but I don't always get to all of them. This beach dune painting was one of the unfinished demos from my last workshop.

I took it out the other day and finished it. Before I return to an unfinished painting I look at it and evaluate it. I ask myself what it needs to be finished. I look at the CVC's of a good painting....the composition, values and color. I ask myself if my concept is clear. Have I created depth? Have I created a visual pathway for the viewer? Is there a connection between the earth and sky?  Then I make notes to remind myself of the areas that need work.

This painting had good bones. It just needed some refinement in the right places. My notes were a reminder to work on just those areas. This prevented me from overworking the painting.

TRY THIS:  Open a photo of one of your paintings in your computer. Use a program that lets you mark on the photo. I use Preview on my Mac. It lets me add text to a photo. Be critical of your painting and write down the things you'd like to change. Looking at a photo of your painting gives you a different viewpoint.


Valerie Fairbanks said...

Oh my goodness! You don't know how helpful this is, I would love to see more demos like this. It's very informative. This is helpful in that stage of "am I done"? Thanks you're wonderful, love your work.


robertsloan2art said...

Very cool! It makes sense. Though I know a lot of friends who teach will sell the demo painting to someone who attended the workshop. I guess if this happens with yours, they get the actually finished version, you just tell them it needs some finishing details.

Diane said...

Great post Karen. Have several paintings that need finish work so this was very helpful. I have a question, how do you put yellow over the blue in the sky and not get green??

Karen said...

Thanks! If you use a light enough touch then the colors won’t physically blend.

Diane said...

Thank you. I must be too heavy handed as I almost always get green!