September 30, 2023


How Art Works

7 Assessments to Verify the Accuracy of Your Work

6 min read

On this publish, I’ll share among the assessments you should use to verify the accuracy of your work or to diagnose errors. I am going to use my latest portray, Elora and White Roses (proven beneath), to display my factors.

Dan Scott, Elora and White Roses, 2023
Dan Scott, Elora and White Roses, 2023

Why These Assessments Are Essential and When to Use Them

After all, the important thing profit of those assessments is to supply extra correct and plausible work. But it surely’s additionally about honing your judgment as an artist. It’s inconceivable to hone your judgment when you’re naive to your personal shortcomings or errors.

You should utilize these assessments at any level all through the portray course of. I discover them notably helpful for the next:

  • In the beginning of a portray whenever you’re establishing the inspiration, particularly for complicated topics.
  • To ensure you’re heading in the right direction halfway by means of a portray.
  • Upon getting accomplished a portray to confirm your accuracy.
  • When it is advisable diagnose a mistake or drawback.

1. Squint Take a look at

Squint at your portray and the topic and search for any obtrusive points or irregularities. Squinting reduces the “noise” of what you see and makes every thing seem hazy and a contact darker. It is an efficient check for the big-picture elements of your work, notably in relation to worth (how mild or darkish your colours are) and the most important shapes.

Dan Scott, Elora and White Roses, 2023, 700W, Squint
Reference Photo, Elora and White Roses 700W, Squint

2. Thumbnail Take a look at

Have a look at a thumbnail picture of your portray. If it seems life like, that’s a superb signal you bought the basics proper. You can too evaluate a thumbnail of your portray to a thumbnail of the reference picture to identify any big-picture irregularities.

Dan Scott, Elora and White Roses, 2023, 700W, Thumbnail
Reference Photo, Elora and White Roses 700W, Thumbnail

3. Use of Collage App to Examine Your Portray to the Reference Picture

Examine a photograph of your portray to the reference picture. I take advantage of a collage app on my cellphone, however any modifying software program akin to Photoshop or Canva will do (Canva is free and beginner-friendly). This assessments for problems with scale, perspective, and drawing. Portrait painters would discover this check notably helpful.

Dan Scott, Elora and White Roses, 2023, 700W, Comparison

4. Grid and Key Measurements Take a look at

Place a three-by-three grid over a photograph of your portray and your reference picture. You can additionally place vertical and horizontal traces that undergo the center. Use the gridlines and intersections as reference factors to take key measurements with which you’ll be able to check the accuracy of your drawing, scale, and perspective. I sometimes solely do that for complicated topics involving individuals, animals, or structure.

I used grids and key measurements in Elora and White Roses to make sure my drawing of Elora was heading in the right direction. It was essential that I received her scale, form, and proportions proper. On a number of events, I received out a ruler and measured the precise distance between components of Elora and the closest gridlines. I then needed to evaluate this to the relative distance within the reference picture. Tedious work, however I needed to get this one proper.

Reference Photo, Elora and White Roses 700W, Grid
Dan Scott, Elora and White Roses, Progress (2)

I used to be notably targeted on the areas circled beneath and their positions in relation to the grid.

Reference Photo, Elora and White Roses 700W, Measurements 2

I additionally used the gridlines to verify key traces and angles. For instance, to confirm the accuracy of Elora’s left arm, I mentally drew a line that prolonged from her arm to the closest grid line. If the road intersects the grid in the identical spot because the reference picture, I do know all is true.


5. Grayscale Take a look at

Grayscale a photograph of your portray. It will will let you clearly see the worth construction (how mild or darkish all the colours are). You possibly can evaluate this to a grayscale of your reference picture. Pay specific consideration to the lightest lights, the darkest darks, and the association of sunshine and darkish shapes. See beneath a grayscale of my Elora portray and the reference picture. Just a few key observations:

  • My portray is extra compressed when it comes to worth. That’s, the lightest lights are a bit darker, and my darkest darks are a bit lighter than that of the reference picture. That is by design, as I needed the portray to have a softer end with much less worth distinction.
  • I am lacking a darkish accent on the structure on the high. This was additionally by design, as I did not wish to draw consideration to this space and away from Elora. However, it might have labored properly with the brilliant, overcast sky as a backdrop.
  • My portray has much less worth distinction within the background (see the bushes on the again and the sky). I made up for this through the use of refined modifications in hue and visual brushwork.
Dan Scott, Elora and White Roses, 2023, 700W, Grayscale
Reference Photo, Elora and White Roses 700W, Grayscale

6. Shade Checker

Use Photoshop or another modifying software program to examine a specific colour within the reference picture. For instance, say I am uncertain concerning the colour of Elora’s proper arm in shadow. I can use a colour checker to examine the colour when it comes to hue, saturation, and worth. I can use this data to confirm and make extra knowledgeable selections. Be mindful, I do not do that typically. I choose to rely by myself judgment first. That is extra of a backup possibility if all else fails.

Dan Scott, Elora and White Roses, 2023, 700W, Color Checker

7. Adverse House Take a look at

Examine an space of damaging house within the portray to that of the reference picture. Adverse house being the world between objects and issues. For instance, I might confirm the accuracy of my drawing of Elora by trying on the damaging house surrounding her and the shapes that house kinds. If the damaging house has a unique form to that of the reference picture, then one thing is incorrect with my drawing.

Dan Scott, Elora and White Roses, 2023, 700W, Negative and Positive Space

A Phrase of Warning

Don’t get caught up making an attempt to confirm each choice you make in a portray. That may sap the enjoyment out of portray.

Additionally, there are occasions when it’s OK to be incorrect. Maybe you wish to exaggerate or restrain a sure element. Or maybe the error is insignificant and never price fixing.

Reserve these assessments for essential and elementary elements of your portray. Issues that actually push the needle. For instance, when you’re portray a portrait, it’s important that you just get the eyes and nostril proper. But it surely’s much less necessary to get the precise structure of the hair or the precise pores and skin tones.

Wish to Study Extra?

You could be inquisitive about my Portray Academy course. I’ll stroll you thru the time-tested fundamentals of portray. It’s excellent for absolute newbie to intermediate painters.

Thanks for Studying!

I recognize you taking the time to learn this publish and I hope you discovered it useful. Be happy to share it with buddies. Let me know your ideas within the feedback.

Completely satisfied portray!

Dan Scott

Draw Paint Academy

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