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Just Walk Away

When it comes to painting sometimes you just have to walk away. If you feel your painting isn’t quite working or you’re unsure what to do here are some tips to see more clearly.

Looking with Fresh Eyes


Even though I’ve been painting for over 20 years I don’t always get it right straight away, in fact, there are times when a painting is simply a ‘no go’ and ask any creative and they will tell you the same thing. Some of the best goalkeepers in the world miss shots (football hubby lol) so what can you do?

Here are a few tips for looking at your painting with fresh eyes or a new perspective:

1. Move back

I’ll always suggest painting on an easel because it allows you to move back when painting. Stand at the other side of the room, this helps to reduce detail and spot larger areas that aren’t working.

2. Walk away

Sometimes just walking away for an hour, a day or even a week and coming back to it can really help you to see with fresh eyes.

3. Turn it upside down

As crazy as that may sound, try it and you’ll be surprised. If you can’t see what’s going wrong one way turn it another. Our brains are designed to see things logically – we like to ‘name it’ but when it’s the wrong way around we don’t label it we ‘see it’

4. Look at it on your computer

So many times I’ve completed a painting, taken a photograph and then looked at it on the computer or my phone and completely missed something. Looking at it in a new way often presents different answers.

5. Start another painting and come back to it

Drive into a new painting, learn something from it, get new ideas, and new colours and then return to an old piece and suddenly ‘ah ha’ that’s what it needs.

I was halfway through this painting recently, I stepped away for a few days and realised I needed to completely change the background colour and soften the hair and that was all it needed.

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