I’d heard from Mike Adams that old masters used a black mirror to check out the value balance of their work, but although I’ve painted with a mirror behind me for years to help check on composition and cut down on walking back and forth I’d not seen a black mirror in practice, so I found a piece of glass and asked Stacy to paint it black so we could see how effective it was. It’s simple to use; just look at your work in the mirror.
I thought it was really great for making obvious any overly bright or dark areas that were not immediately noticable to regular eyesight and I think I’ll use it again in future just to check on the paintings as I make them.
It’s hard to take a photo that shows the effect that the black mirror has on seeing the work, but here’s a slightly altered iPhone pictureÂ (I adjusted the contrast and exposure in Bridge)Â that gives at least some idea of it, clearly showing Joe’s over-bright ear on the left side, which needs fixing. Handy, huh?