After you've supposedly finished a painting, you may think you're done. But my advice is to wait at least a day without looking at the work before reexamining it again. Then, take another look. You're probably going to find a few small things to change that you haven't noticed before. I believe this fresh look is brought about by time away from the painting. First and foremost, be sure you take advantage of a fresh pair of eyes to look at the painting. You also want to use that fresh perspective to make small adjustments, and an example I see in this image is right here in the main window.
I know that that is a reflection of a tree branch, but most people probably aren't and they're going to look at it more like, is that a crack in the window? What is that? So I will probably go in and smear that around a little bit, just to soften it up to make it more like a reflection, and not so sharp-edged as it is now. And that's exactly what I'm talking about here. If you have to ask, what is that, you want to remove it. Clarity reigns in a painting. Now, there's also this concept that I like to say that a painting is never done.
You'll find that, no matter how far you think you've gone and finished the image, the more time you spend away from it and come back, you'll find things that you'll say, I could've done better, I should've done this a little differently, oh, I wish would have used that technique. And those are all good things, actually, because you're developing your sense of how to do a painting, and you are establishing for yourself what you want to improve on the next time out. And each time you do that, you'll probably have some things in the image you wished you could have done better. But just take it as it is, it's what you're capable of at the time you did it, and just use those little things that bugged you a little bit and improve on them the next time around.
By getting away from the work, you'll clear your mind and return with a fresh perspective with which to evaluate the painting.
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