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Take a step back!

I have never written a blog before, however I'm sure that I get enough questions from students to fill in a number of entries.  The title of this entry is "Take a step back!"  I can't stress how important it is when you are working on a painting to step back and examine your work from a distance. It's something that my instructor Mel was constantly telling us during classes. 
 
I was once working on a portrait and I'm sure I was on the last nerve of everyone in class as I kept wiping off the ear in my portrait and then I'd give it another go.  I just couldn't seem to be happy with it.  Mel and the other students would come take a look over my shoulder and say "That's it, you've got a great ear done this time!"  but from where I was sitting it just wasn't right. 
 
As I got frustrated I decided to head to the kitchen to get a cup of tea.  While I was gone Mel put my painting up on the wall and when I reentered the room I was looking at it from further away and I said "Sure that's a great ear!" Everyone in the class had a great laugh at me. 
 
But it just goes to show that when you are painting something, whether you are feeling frustrated or not, you need to take a moment and step back to view your work from a different distance or angle.  You would be amazed at the difference this can make!
 
So next time you are painting remember to "Take a step back!"
 
Lesley
 
 

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