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Checklist for successful paintings : Be your own critic on ARTiful, painting demos by Sandrine Pelissier

Checklist for successful paintings : Be your own critic

Irwin Greenberg : “Be your own toughest critic.”

Assessing your work while you are painting it is a crucial step towards successful paintings. While it is not easy to take a distance from our own work, here is a list of elements you might want to check in the earlier stages of planning a painting and also in the last stages.

You might also be interested in : How to fix watercolor mistakes

Of course depending on the effect and the look you would like to achieve, rules can be broken, this list is just a rough guideline of elements you might want to consider when assessing your painting.

A few questions you can ask yourself when looking at your own work.

  • Is there unity in the painting or is there an element that is sticking out too much.
  •  Does the painting have enough contrast?
  •  Does the painting have a variety of textures?
  • Do the colors work together
  • Are the positive and negative shapes interesting?
  • Is there a focal point? Does it have more contrast , more details or brighter colors than the rest of the painting, does the location follows the rule of thirds.( see more info on the rule of third here )
  • Emotion, does the painting trigger an emotional response from you, do you have a connection to your subject.
  • Is there a feeling or a specific mood conveyed by the painting?
  • Is there something I do better or in a different way, is there something original ?

If you are painting with watercolors.

  • Do I have a variety of edges ( soft edges and hard edges)
  • Does the painting have a variety of washes, wet in wet, dry on wet, dry brush
  • Are my dark areas still bright and not muddy
  • Do I have some transparent and opaque passages

What are you looking at when assessing your own work? Please add your ideas in the comment area.