To complete my artwork I create several different versions and then decide on the best one. I like playing with colours, so I often test the entire colour palette: changing the hue in places to try and make it less boring; testing to see if an intense or soft colour works best; or if I should increase the contrast. Then I adjust the values – should I make the shadows darker? Is this too little or too much contrast? Are there a lot of different tones of grey, or is it all just a boring mid-tone? Whenever there’s a background I do twice the tweaking, and will sometimes bring in textures – should I add a texture to the clouds or the hair to add more depth? Or does it look better without? At times I’ll add too much texture, and the piece will end up looking too busy and lack a focal point. There is always something you can tweak once you’ve “finished” a piece, so I might spend as much time tweaking as I did drawing it. After I’ve finished making changes, I’ll compare the new version to the old; which one do I like more? Why? This can lead again to more modifications, but eventually I’ll end up with a piece which I’m happy with.
Usually I just look at it overall and make sure that the colours and lighting look consistent. And I switch it to black and white to make sure it has enough contrast.
~ Jennifer Pearce
Leaving it for a while and coming back to look at it with a fresh set of eyes helps quite a lot. I’d recommend doing it even before you have reached the 3/4 mark.
As I’m designing something, I’ll keep flipping it horizontally to gain new perspective, and when I think it’s finished, I’ll flip it one last time (just to be sure). Then I’ll begin tweaking the colours, enhancing the lighting and shading, and using the Selective Colour tool to bring out opposing colours – for example, a lot of my stuff is quite blue, so I’ll use this tool to bring out some of the reds/oranges/yellows to bring another dimension to the piece. Once I’ve finished tweaking, I’ll flip it again and decide which orientation I prefer; should the focal point sit on the left side, or right? Typically I have the focal sitting on the left, as I read left to right.
~ Natalie Rowlands
I add some effects to enhance colors. Background is almost always last, some extra tweaking and stuff.
One method I use is to flip the image horizontally every so often. It allows you see the piece in a new perspective, which in turn helps you notice errors which you may have overlooked before. In terms of taking a break, I’d not leave a piece for a few days, but only an hour or so and then come back to it with fresh eyes.