I always check my paintings to make sure they are well balanced and that they don't have any problems that draw the viewers eyes away from the focal point. Often we get caught up in the actual pleasure of painting and forget to check our composition. I draw directly onto the canvas and many times my paintings are something I created without the help of a reference.
It is vitally important to take a few moments to check what you are doing often so we can make corrections.
Looking at it using a mirror
I like to look at my work in a mirror. This will give me a new and fresh look at my work. The reflection reverses the image from left to right. Now it is easier to see the composition objectively. Now I ask myself:
1. Is my first inspiration still evident?
2. Is there a pattern of light and dark?
3. Is the light correct?
4. Is the focal point identifiable?
I often turn my canvas upside down, then I will stand back and analyze it.
1. Is the arrangement pleasing to the eye?
2. Is there anything that leads the eye out of the picture?
3. Is there a main focal point or are there several things competing for attention?
Next time you paint try this, you will really be suprised at how well it works! Things that are wrong will just jump out at you!