How to Test the Believability of Your Painting

As an artist, you want your work to appear believable. But as a beginner artist, that may be difficult to accomplish. It can also be hard to tell if your painting is truly accurate when you’ve been working on it for so long.

Thankfully, there are several ways you can test your painting for believability.woman painting art in gallery

The Squint Test

Squinting helps reduces the “noise” of what you see. Squinting at your painting can help you see any glaring issues, particularly in relation to value (how light or dark your colors are) and major shapes. However, keep in mind that this will not help you pinpoint smaller issues. This is all for big-picture items.

The Thumbnail Test

Take a look at a thumbnail photo of your painting. Does it appear realistic? If so, then that’s a good sign. But if something seems off in your thumbnail, then something is off in your painting.

The Grayscale Test

Take a photo of your painting and then switch it to grayscale. This will allow you to see the value structure of your painting. You can then compare this to the reference photo and determine how believable your painting really is. Additionally, the grayscale photo should also be done with the reference so that apples can be compared to apples.

Grid and Key Measurements Test

Place a three-by-three grid over a photo of your painting. Then, do the same for your reference photo. Does everything line up? If so, then you have a believable painting. If not, then you may need to fix some items.

Turn It Upside Down

Another way to detect perspective error issues? Simply turn your painting upside down. This will allow you to look at your painting in a new light and allow your right brain to evaluate shapes not objects. When the painting is upright, your left brain identifies all the parts and overlooks the incorrect shapes. Turning the piece upside down, points out some flaws that you didn’t notice when it was right-side up.

Many of these tests can help you determine how accurate your painting is. However, nothing will substitute a great art teacher. At Creative Ventures Gallery, we offer many art classes and workshops. Contact us today to learn more!