Scrutiny wall


There is a point with some paintings when I’m not sure if they’re truly finished or not.  There is a wall in my house, the “scrutiny wall”, where I’ll hang them and just live with them for a week or so.  It’s good to look at a piece with fresh eyes and see what it might say it needs before it goes in a frame. I ask myself: does it communicate depth and distance?  Does it have anything annoying in it?  Does my eye go to the center of interest right away?  Does it invite me in?  Does it give the eye a little route to travel around the painting?  Does it have a neutral resting place for the eye?  How are the values (dark and light balance)? What does it need that will make it a better painting?  

In this case, I intend to put a vertical element on the lower left side.  With the slant of rock from upper right to lower left, the viewer’s eye slides right off the bottom of the canvas.  A branch or edge of rock should fix that. I need to consider whether or not to put hikers on the trail.  I don’t often include people in paintings, but doing that might give a better sense of scale and distance.  Good thing with oil paint, if I put them in and don’t like how they look, I can wipe them off.

Do you see anything else?  © Dawn Sutherland  2017