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Description of video:  

In this video, we work on a search and destroy painting along with the self critique checklist and isolate issues that were not seen earlier.  We work with glazes, scrapers and fresh paint to identify the problems and bring new skills to the painting.  You will be able to use the critique sheet with your older works and bring them to a more finished and fine tuned state!

Running time:  1:32

Here is my checklist for a self critique

Self Critique Checklist


Is there something extraordinary or worthy of the format andI have chosen? Does it connect with an audience?

What are my strengths in this painting?  What is working?

Can I define my weaknesses or that element(s) which isn’t working?

What do I want to express with this painting?  Is it a mood, a thing, a palette?

Did that idea come across as the most important aspect of the painting?

Is this a painting that is authentic to my own artistic vision?  Have I copied or replicated unnecessarily the vision or technique of someone else


Drawing and Scale:

  1. Do I have the proper perspective in my painting?  Are my eclipses drawn correctly?  Are my shape sizes in good perspective with each other?  Is anything predictable?
  2. Do I have any unnecessary drawing tangents?  Have I unintentionally put my center of interest right in the center of the picture plane?  If it is intentional, have I balanced it with other elements in the drawing?
  3. Check it out in a mirror or even upside down to see glaring mistakes that can’t be seen unless it is presented in another way to the brain.  Does it have visual balance?
  4. How does my drawing relate to the edges of my picture plane?  Have I allowed enough room for the center of interest to “breathe” in the format or is it too large and pushed off of the boundaries or uncomfortable in the composition?


  1. Have I simplified my value patterns and information enough to have 3-5 masses or shapes?  Is there a dominant element with the other elements being secondary?
  2. Does my eye move throughout the painting without being taken off of the picture plane or held captive in one area too long? Is there a pleasing rhythm moving the eye through the composition?
  3. Have I created the depth and distance that I need for the space relationships in the painting?  Do things recede in space correctly and read as honest through size and drawing, perspective, color temperature, contrast?
  4. Do I have any unnecessary tangents in the painting?


  1. Do I have a dominant value with the others being secondary?  Do I have enough or too much contrast for the emotional theme of the painting?
  2. Have I simplified my values enough to have 3-5 values with one being dominant and the others being secondary?


  1. Do I have harmony in my color relationships – do they relate to each other?
  2. Do I have a dominant temperature or hue?  Does any color or contrast unnecessarily compete with your center of interest?  Does my color recede in my intended space and feel truthful?  Do I have a dominance of either intensity or neutral grays with the other secondary?
  3. Have I used temperature shifts to hold a value pattern together rather than break the masses with too much contrast, making the painting too busy and destroying the depth.


  1. Do I have a dominance of soft edge vs. hard edge?
  2. Does my eye move easily from one shape to the other?
  3. Do I have softer edges where a shape sits back behind a harder edge creating depth?


  1. Have I used thick/thin paint texture and brushwork to bring things forward or back in space?
  2. Does my texture add to the painting or compete with my theme?
  3. Are there cohesive “friends” in the painting for the eye to find similar textures?

Original Painting

Light Background

Dark Background

Click on the image below for the reference image.  Images are copyrighted by Shanna Kunz.  As a member of Inspired to Paint you are allowed to paint from these images for personal use only.  You are not allowed to paint from these images and then put a painting in a show or gallery for sale.  If you paint from the image and post to social media we ask that you credit Shanna and Inspired to Paint with the original painting.

Reference Image Download

My Finished Painting

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