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How to spot mistakes in drawing

Question from Johann, Drawing Academy student

Hello Vladimir,

I hope you are fine!

This question has not left my head for some time:
Why can I immediately recognize the mistakes in my pictures when I look at the painting in the mirror?

When I look at my pictures, I often do not see my mistakes. I can feel that something is wrong, but I cannot say exactly where the mistake is. But when I look at the picture in the mirror, I recognize the mistake immediately. Why is that? Is my eye in the habit of cheating?

How to spot mistakes in drawing
Julia, Pencil on Paper 200cm x 100cm

How to spot mistakes in drawing
Girl, Pencil on Paper 100cm x 140cm

How to spot mistakes in drawing
Hands, Graphit on Paper 140cm x 100cm

Thank you in advance for a short answer!

With kind regards,
Johann

Feedback from Vladimir London, Drawing Academy tutor

Hi Johann,

It’s good to hear from you.

The answer is very simple—we comprehend things differently when we have personal attachment to them. This relates not only to art, but everything.

When you work on an artwork for a long time, your eye gets used to it, so you don’t spot mistakes.

That’s is why it’s good to step away and check an artwork from a distance, turn it upside down, or check it in a mirror. Taking a break and having a fresh view also helps.

Also, for the same reason, other professional artists will see mistakes immediately in other artists’ works. You are welcome to send yours for critique if you need a second opinion : )

As a Drawing Academy student, you have an unlimited lifetime personal support from the Academy tutors, which includes artworks critique, answers to your art questions, and advice on how to improve your drawing skills.

Kind regards,
Vladimir

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