See things you haven't seen before. | annkullberg.com

See things you haven't seen before.

Posted on August 26, 2013 by Ann Kullberg | 6 Comments

A subscriber recently sent me an image of her "finished" piece. A day later, she sent me another image of the same artwork, saying she'd worked on it a little, and now it was really finished. Today, I got version three of her "finished" piece! 
It's been kind of cracking me up to tell you the truth...since even now, I fully expect that she'll tweak it a bit more and send me her final, final "finished" image!  Especially since I suggested a tip that has worked wonders for me in the past.  When you've worked on a piece for a long time, you get so close to it that it can be hard to see what's wrong with it (which is a much better scenario than not being able to see what's right with it!). But here's a little trick that will help you see your piece in a whole new light:
Take your artwork into the bathroom, or some other room where you have a large mirror.  Look at the mirror image of your art.  It's amazing what you'll suddenly see that you hadn't noticed before.
In fact, I was nearly finished with my "Three Boys" drawing, decades ago, when I decided to look at it in the mirror.  I was floored, absolutely gobsmacked, when I saw that all the boys leaned slightly to the left! I have a pretty strong astigmatism, which is probably why I didn't see that while I was working on the piece, but the second I looked at it in the mirror...I saw these three boys leaning to the right!
Try this little tip.  It was too late for my Three Boys...but it's a tip that has saved me on other work!

Posted in self-critiquing your work, tips


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6 Responses

Norine
Norine

September 13, 2013

Along the idea of the mirror viewing, is looking at your artwork upside down. That gives you a totally clear perspective, too.

julie podstolski
julie podstolski

September 03, 2013

I totally agree regarding the mirror and I’ve been doing the same myself for years – mostly with portraits. Also, as Susie Tenzer says, taking a photo is a wonderful way of seeing your work in a critical light.
As to saying a drawing is ‘finished’ then endlessly tweaking it only to say it is finished again and again – GUILTY AS CHARGED. It is one of the symptoms of ‘Art Hell’ which I’ve written about in my blog…or was it ‘Art Personality Disorder’? I can’t remember; one or the other.

LyNel Gross
LyNel Gross

August 27, 2013

I can’t draw a thing until I turn what I’m trying to draw upside down & look at it through a mirror. Then my drawing comes out perfect. I do have an astigmatism that is pretty bad & I’m left handed. This really frightened me at first. Don’t know why this is. My paintings come out just fine. I just paint them without drawing, in oil. Any ideas as to what is wrong with me?

Kirrily Duff
Kirrily Duff

August 27, 2013

Agree! I tell my students the same thing. Its also great for when you cant figure out where you’re going wrong. Quick flip up to the mirror and it all becomes very obvious.

Susie Tenzer
Susie Tenzer

August 27, 2013

I take photos of the drawing & look at them on my computer, from beginning to end. I always see things to fix.

Gina Anderson
Gina Anderson

August 26, 2013

My trick has always been to turn it upside down or stand it up and look at it from a distance. This is a great tip, and just about any way of seeing it from a different perspective will be very helpful locating problem areas. :-)

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