Every artist needs to learn to do a self critique - to look at his or her painting and be able to see what your painting may need to improve or finish it.
This information comes from Kathleen Dunphy's blog. Kathleen is a wonderful west coast oil painter who also paints the Maine coast. I had the privilege of seeing her work when the Plein Air Painters of America exhibited at the Cape Cod Museum of Art a couple summers ago.
Kathleen Dunphy keeps a "Critique Notebook". She records the date, size and location of her painting.
Kathleen assesses how effective a painting is in 5 basic categories:
Kathleen makes quick notes on ways to improve in each category.
She suggests turning the work upside down.
Look through books to find examples of paintings that accomplish what you are after.
Finally, try anything it takes to make the painting more successful!
I hope this might be helpful for our artists.