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!"