The most valuable tool in the studio is my Photoshop software as old and behind-the-times as it may be. Well that and my camera--as old and behind-the-times as that may be too. Looking at work in progress through the computer is like having highly respected mentors at your side giving you their added perspectives.
Aside from pushing the color via quick fix, color, exposure, vividness and sharpness, I adore the time and distress Photoshop saves me deciding if an artwork is finished or needs tweaking.
Before Photoshop, I would live with the piece standing against the wall on its head and reflected in a mirror for a quite a while while I scrutinized, made judgments, made changes or didn't, and decided if it was done and worthy of signature. Now all of that is accomplished with a just a few clicks. Seeing the computer translations speeds up my decision making process and in so doing increases production. I know faster what needs to be done, if anything, do it and move on. Fantastic.
Here are three more effects I use to analyze my work with this valuable tool before signing off:
Flipped on its head, it's very clear that the two croquet balls in the grass in the lower right-hand corner must be added to balance the ball shapes of the sunglasses:
Converted to black and white, the tonal values look pretty good, but the balls still must be added to break up the darkness in that corner. The croquet balls should be warm and light colors.
The mirror image of the painting confirms again that the right side needs strengthening--the addition of the balls and perhaps some deepening of the shadows on the bent leg of the standing figure?
Conclusion: it's time to remove the rubber cement I used to block off three croquet balls in the grass on the right, see how that glue did as a paint blocker, and paint in the balls with some warm color of the same value as the grass--perhaps leave a highlight? I'll also take a look at that gal's bent leg.