Editing Your Painting


A publisher will take a writer’s work and edit it for spelling, grammar and excessive information. An art teacher takes on the same role when helping a student complete a painting or drawing.

But what happens if you don’t have an art teacher telling you what to look for or eliminate?

It is one of the more difficult things for an artist to consider, because what one may consider excessive another may feel necessary.

My first suggestion before you start to paint is to crop your image, making your focal points are quite obvious /clearer. This is the first step in editing.

The next is to see what lines or objects you feel are excessive and eliminate them. You don’t want any lines leading into corners which will lead the ‘eye’ off your canvas. Nor do you want too much information in the centre of your canvas as that too hinders the viewer from allowing their ‘eye’ to roam to other areas.

To challenge yourself use a photograph that has many trees with branches and begin by drawing the main trunk then add a few branches at a time and stop each time to see if you really need to add more. Don’t keep adding for adding sake! You will find what had amazing multiple braches in the photo your painting will only need a few to portray the same effect.

Don’t be over whelmed from using a photo that has a lot of detail because you will find that in ‘editing’ it will not be so difficult.

Squint and concentrate on only the colours and tones and begin with that. Adding one detail at a time and accessing it before you add more.


Happy Painting



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