Art Classes/Courses · Artist blocks · Beginner Art

The Importance of Reviewing

So it is December and this for me is a natural time of reflecting on the year that is coming to a close. I like to review all aspects of my life including my art, so why bother to spend time reviewing and reflecting on your artwork? In this blog post I explain my reasons for doing so.

pencil sharpenings
Taking stock

It is tempting to always be looking forward but looking back has been just as useful because it has allowed me to realise some of the followings things:

  • What has worked and what hasn’t
  • What where the things I enjoyed the most?
  • What did I draw the most (subjects)
  • What materials did I most enjoy using?

If you create enough art then you will start to see themes in your work, certain marks you make, subject matter, colours, shapes, materials you enjoy and so on.  All this is really valuable to know because it can help you find your ‘voice’ as an artist.

Sharpening pencil with knife
Sharpen up for a new year

Sometimes we don’t even notice these repeating themes, because we are so busy making art and moving forward.  I would encourage you to lay out all your work from the year and give yourself a bit of a critique.  After some time you can see work for its real value so this exercise is best done at the end of a year.  What do you notice about your work?

Mark making to create texture
What materials and techniques did you most enjoy?

You are bound to notice some things you like (believe me) which you can build on.  So I’d encourage you at the end of this year to not only make plans for the future but take time out to review and celebrate your progress!

Do you review your work at the end of a year? Share you thoughts below…

2 thoughts on “The Importance of Reviewing

  1. I think I’ve done more reviewing this year than painting…finally threw some stuff away too which I’ve always held back doing. And I tend to paint the same things. I should try something different but is hard when you don’t feel an affinity or connection with the subject. I think my trees have improved a bit…..

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  2. It is great that you took the time to review your work Sarah! I think we all have our subjects that we come back to over and over, this is good because it often becomes our niche in art. I would go with it if it is trees, maybe just try experimenting with materials and techniques to represent them in different ways. 2022 is the year to get painting after the reviewing!

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