Thursday 29 May 2014

The Pensive Palette: The Value of Mirror Image

‘Stillness’ (Study) | 16”x20” | oil on canvas

We all have a natural bias when creating a composition.  Our brains feel more comfortable leaning one way or the other when looking at the visual weight of a design. 
Usually, we aren’t aware that this is happening and will only see it when someone else’s “fresh” eye point it out.  How can we catch it before this happens?  The easiest way is to look at the image in reverse. 
If you are working digitally, simply flip the image over and you will immediately notice if the piece is unbalanced.  If you are working on something physical, look at the image in a mirror.  I like to get at least 10-15 feet away from the painting and use a hand mirror over my shoulder.  If your studio is small, take the work outside.  You can also take a digital photo and reverse it horizontally. 
In time you can start to notice your tendencies and address them while working, but old habits die amazingly hard!

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