5 things to try when a painting isn't working

When something is bothering you with a painting and you just can't put your finger on what it is......
What do you do?
Well, these are some of the things I do...

1.  Look at the painting in a mirror. It's amazing how all of a sudden the 'errors of your ways' becomes apparent.

2.  Look at your painting upside down... and if you are working with a reference image, turn that upside down too. BINGO!  Your inaccuracy's are somehow easier to spot in the "inverted position". (nod to Top Gun)

3.  Take a digital photo and look at it on the computer... I don't know why this works... but I can't tell you the number of times I go to post an image, and whoa... I can spot an error or area of a painting that needs a bit more work before posting.

4.  Once you have the image on the computer... If you have any photo editing software... play around with your wacky ideas on the virtual painting... This method is especially helpful for me if I have a lot of hours into a piece...You can be very bold and try all those "what if's" without actually touching the painting. Some very creative solutions can happen this way.

5.  Start a critique group.... This is a group of artists (not necessarily all painters) that schedule meetings to do a sort of "show and tell." If you're stuck... Your critique group friends will help you sort out what's wrong. They also cheer you on, and motivate you with their efforts.  I really miss my critique buddies since we've moved.  sniff sniff. But this is such a valuable group (both personally and professionally) that I'll be sure to find like minded peeps here in northern MI.  It's a goal.

This photo has nothing to do with the article I just posted... but the berries this year are glorious and I wanted to share. :)