I’m at the final stage of Remmy’s portrait, where I tape it up on the wall of my studio and stand back to see if anything needs to be adjusted. Sometimes I look at it in a mirror, holding up a hand-mirror and looking at the artwork over my shoulder. Sometimes, when you've been working on something so long you “can't see it anymore", looking at it “flopped" the opposite way in a mirror, things you hadn't noticed may jump out at you that need to be fixed.
I took this shot standing behind my work-table, but when I evaluate the final artwork I stand directly facing it, far enough back to view it from the distance the client will see it on their wall.
For the past two days
I’ve been fine-tuning Remmy’s portrait. I stand back and look at it, see a spot that needs to be a little darker, a little lighter, a few more pencil strokes…take it down, put it on the work table, touch up that spot, tape it back up again…until it looks just right.
There was one large area
of the river surface I was not happy with. The area between upper-left Remmy and “Mona Lisa Remmy”. It looks confusing when viewed from a distance — not enough contrast between the riverbank and the reflections on the river - just a bunch of green. So I revised that whole area. Here’s a "before and after" pic. Can you see what I changed? (Answer below pic.)
The main thing you'll notice is that I added more blue-sky ripples - a reflection of the blue sky above - on the left side of “Mona Lisa Remmy’s” head and neck. I'm really glad I came up with that. It makes his smiling face stand out even more as the center of attention. I also made the reflection of the grass and rocks more clear, and added more dark patches in the reflection of the tree leaves.