Getting poison oak.

Doctor time.

It’s been a full week.

But I have been painting!  Eight pieces are in various stages of done.  Some are ready for edge work and framing.  Others are getting the eye.  And then there are two that keep nagging at me.  Inside I’m not ready to call them done.  It’s a feeling.

“Can I make it even better?”

You have to want it.

I have a few tricks to test out changes.  Encaustic is expensive so I hate to scrape away or add more wax unless I’m pretty sure it’s a good move.  Then I go after it.

Trick #1.  Sometimes I just need to change the color and keep the shape.  I’ll paint the new color on a piece of watercolor paper and cover the old with the new.  I stand back, soften my eyes so the edges blend in and take a look.  I may do this a few times.  When it’s right I’ll know it.

Trick #2.  A soft eye is a versatile tool too.  I can see contrast and value better.  It also gets me out of my head into my gut.

Trick #3.  This trick comes in handy when I’m out of the studio.  I’ll pull up a photo of the work on my phone and take a screenshot of it.  A new photo will appear which will have editing and painting tools!  With some basic tools and colors I can make substantial changes to the painting.  This is perfect for when I want to test out big changes in the work without commitment and someone looking over your shoulder.

An example is below.  I’m thinking I need to break down the large white rectangle in the lower half.  I want suggestions of white and not repeat shapes from above.  This edit could work.  The red is where I’ve tested out the change.

Tomorrow I might paint the correct color on paper and place it over the white rectangle.  Just to be sure.

As the saying goes, “Measure twice, cut once.”