"Ask the Painting What It Wants You to Do"

How do you know what to do next, when you are painting?

How can  you tell if something is good or bad, effective or not, when you are painting?

Ask the Painting what it wants you to do!

After all, the Painting is a being which you created.  It knows what it wants to become, even if  you
do not!  So just ask it!

The common name for this process is "A Critique".

The content of the questions is essentially the "Principles of Design".

These are a universal set of elements that all visual art has. My list of them is as follows:

CONTRAST  Do you have "Contrast", a difference between light and dark,  dull and bright,  rough and smooth?

FOCUS  Do you have a "Focus Point", a "Center of Interest", or are there many, competing, confusing areas?

DOMINANCE  Do you have a"Dominance", a color dominance, a pattern dominance, a dominate style of brushwork?

REPETITION and RHYTHM  Do you have "Repetition and Rhythm", do shapes, lines, colors repeat?        
Is there a feeling of a beat, or of an enjoyable rhythm?

MOVEMENT  Do you have "Movement", can my eye travel easily around the painting, or is it "blocked or "stuck"with no place to go?  Could I use colors, lines, or shapes to facilitate this movement?

UNITY  Is there "Unity" in the composition? Does all work together as a whole? Or does something "stick out" or seem as if does not belong there?

More questions arise and the painting will be able respond to them all, or perhaps at times it will reply,
" Just let me think about this for a while.  Put me in the corner and ask me again tomorrow".

Bonnie Lou Prouty