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Top 3 Questions to ask Yourself to Move your Paintings Forward

As an artist have you found yourself stuck when it comes to viewing your own painting? Have you found that it’s hard for your own eyes to see what you’re trying to accomplish? First step, just breathe! Take a step back and become at ease! Here are the top 3 questions to ask yourself to move your paintings forward.

1. Make it easier to view your painting

You are probably thinking, okay great make it easier, but how do I do that exactly? Make it easier for your eyes to see what’s going on. I roll out my paintings to smooth and soften them before I take a good look at them and evaluate what needs to change. Do this by placing my tissue paper over the dried painting and taking a roller and just going over the piece.

artist covering abstract art piece with tissue paper

I want my art to be able to be viewed over and over again and for others to get lost in my painting. Think to yourself, could you look at this painting time and time again? If the answer is yes, then I’ve succeeded in my work!

artist's hands next to abstract landscape painting

2. Check the value of your painting

Value within art simply means how light or dark a given color or hue can be. Value checking is super important! The goal is to have a mixture of dark, middle, and light tone values in every art piece. If you have a wide variety of value than your painting will be more interesting to the eye. 

The easiest way to check the value of your painting is to print out a black and white version of your art. You will be able to tell right away if your painting has enough dark, middle, and light tones. Finally, I compare the two images side by side so that I can see where I might need to even the painting out or if I need to do anything at all!

black and white abstract copy next to original abstract painting

3. Evaluate it from its composition standpoint

Lastly I will always evaluate my painting from a composition standpoint. The composition question is much more instinctual so go with your gut! Ask yourself, “how does the painting feel to me? Does it speak to me?” 

One tip I like to do is flip the painting upside down. This gives a whole different viewpoint. With this painting pictured below, I decided I like the piece upside down more than it’s original right side up! 

artist pointing at upside down abstract landscape


So really how does it make you feel? Ask yourself these questions and I promise you will find the way to move your painting forward. Sometimes the best thing is to have another person critique your work! Sign up for one of my online art classes or join my Creative Clan artist community to continue your growth in the world of art!

Lisa Mann
Hi, I’m Lisa!

I’m the owner of Lisa Mann Fine Art Studio, bringing people together through art and creative expression. Here, you can shop my paintings, take an art class or workshop, or immerse yourself on a painting retreat. I believe art lives inside every one of us. Let’s explore the possibilities.

Lisa Mann making art

Art lives inside every one of us.
Let’s explore the possibilities.


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