Ironically I JUST had this exact discussion with my husband the night prior to seeing their post.
So, when do I personally consider my artwork to be complete? Is it every really complete?
Well, I suppose I could just say, "It's just a feeling." Even though that's true...to an extent...there's more to my process. I do love texture, movement, and a color with my paintings but what is something that can add an extra element to my paintings?
A few months back I started to really think about ways to help me make my pieces more dynamic...to dig a little deeper into my mind and my soul on what else can inspire me to achieve this.
Once I got lost in thought, I thought to myself What if someone was colorblind and looked at my painting? What would they see? Would they be able to enjoy my painting just as much as a person who sees color? Will they be just as moved by my painting by seeing the variations of lights and darks as opposed to a person who sees the colored version?
That's when I decided to use the B&W feature on my phone's camera. You may be thinking Dana, that's not really a big deal...there are plenty of artists who use B&W on their cameras to view values. Yes, it really helps to see the color values. For me, it was so much more than that. It was more than seeing if there are too many areas of lightness or darkness? It helped me see my paintings in a new light, so to speak. This became another way to help me connect with viewers.
I used this for the recent painting I was working on for an upcoming juried show. It's one thing to see your painting with the colors you used, it's another to see it in a different way using B&W. Prior to viewing it in B&W, it seemed to be missing something...seemed like there wasn't enough contrast in my painting. After seeing it in B&W, I realized my suspicions were true (in my opinion) and I added a few different "areas of interest" by using more color and brush strokes until it looked and felt complete not only in color but also in B&W.
I wanted to include Before/After photos of the painting so hopefully help you see what I'm talking about. Unfortunately, a photo never quite does a painting justice since they are better when experienced up close and personal.