yltnereffiD kooL

Don’t Panic – I haven’t suddenly lapsed into Welsh for this blog post!

I just wanted to highlight a few tips that could help you with your latest work in progress, and that is to stop and look differently at what you are doing. As artists, we often spend hours and hours focussed on the same canvas, or even the same small section of canvas, and so it’s easy to lose perspective on the ‘bigger picture’ and complete image we are trying to attain.

I have been guilty of this on my latest piece in the Urban Faeries series that I am creating. It contains a lot of detail of distant buildings and has been too easy to lose myself in the scenery without checking the coherence of the entire work. To step back and look at your wip from a distance is one thing, but there are three other ways of looking too.

  1. REVERSE – Try holding your painting up to a mirror. This will instantly refresh your view of it. It also will help to identify areas of negative space that you may not have noticed before.
  2. UPSIDE DOWN – In the same way that reversing helps, holding your painting upside down will be like looking at an entirely new picture for the first time, and areas that don’t quite work will jump out at you.
  3. BLACK AND WHITE – Taking a quick photo of your wip and then converting it to black and white is a fantastic way of examining the tones that you’ve achieved so far. You will see where the lightest highlights are no matter what the colour was, and the areas of most contrast. Remember that areas of highest contrast between light and dark is where your viewers gaze will naturally be drawn to first.
Me in my messy ‘studio’ looking at my current wip reversed and upside down

As I completely love optical illusions, hidden images/messages and often try to incorporate these into my work, looking at things differently also gives me ideas of where to ‘hide’ these little extras. In fact, the header image for this post is not just of the northern lights above pine covered hills and a pretty starscape.
She’s called ‘Stargazer’.

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