You need to put some distance between you and your work. One way to do this consists in taking a photograph of the work. Picasso once told Brassaï: "It’s strange indeed, but it is through your photographs that I can judge my sculptures… Through them I can see my sculptures with a new eye..."
Image manipulation software like Photoshop Element Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 (PC/Mac) or GIMP (a free open source alternative) let you do much more.
1. Watch the photograph of your painting as a thumbnail. This is the equivalent to stepping back from your painting. The minute details disappear and you can check the overall composition.
2. Flip the image horizontally. This is like looking at your painting into a mirror. If the vertical elements have a slant, you will see it immediately.
4. Convert your picture to pure black and white. Turn the black and white photograph of your painting into a notan by pushing the contrast. In Photoshop, use the “Threshold” filter in the Image/Adjustments menu. Mid-tones disappear and you are left with pure light (in white) and pure dark (in black). This way you can judge the balance between large planes of light and dark areas. This contrast dictates how well the painting will stand when looked at from a distance.
Painting technique Judging a painting Studio tip Photoshop GIMP