It takes blood and sweat to curate a masterpiece. But have you ever been stuck in the middle of an ugly painting? Well, trust me, that’s the meanest thing on Earth to say, but it does happen when you’re trying out great things! But at such a moment, the basic need of the hour is not to frustrate and calm your horses by taking a cappuccino break. But yes I’m confident to say, you’re painting isn’t ugly it’s not just finished, or you just lost your way to complete it.

“Great things take time and so does a celebrated painting”

Here’s presenting you a list or you can say quick hacks to save the soul of your painting and leave no stone unturned by making an ugly painting look like professional.

7 Quick hacks to save your painting:

STEP 1: Take a deep breath:

Take a deep breath

Take A Deep Breath!

The first and foremost thing to do is to sit and relax! You really need to calm down and take a deep breath and remember where you started. You have to recall your motivation of why you started off that masterpiece and what was the final picture you imagined how that portrait would look like. Beat that blues by keeping your horses calm and oozing out that lost motivation with a deep breath, a little bit of meditation and you can easily spot things getting sorted!

STEP 2: Analyse the deviations

Analyse the deviations

Analyze the deviations

If you have a picture for a reference in person or in your mind, look out for the loopholes in the real picture and on the canvas. Find out where it went wrong, and try to balance them with strokes by accurate brushes, more/fewer colors or proper blending by using the appropriate brush. If you see that you’ve headed out in a completely different direction of what it was meant to be, try to make it unique rather than just tearing it up! If your painting and the real picture are poles away then you can, of course, go with the flow by Making something unique that’s obviously not so conventional. Who knows it’s going to be the next best abstract art in town.

STEP 3: Take a visual record of progress

Sometimes it happens when you’re too close to finishing the painting, you’re not able to find out the minute details which needs to be added on a huge canvas. To make the ugly painting flawless, take a picture from your DSLR or phone camera and stalk it out on a desktop/phone screen by zooming in and out by comparing it with the real painting. That is where you can set a base for your minute detailing. Always remember, the modesty always lie in the detailing. The beautiful details, the soulful your art is going to be.

You gotta be a very particular observer at this stage as you can’t miss out even a single cell of the masterpiece. Imagine, you’re making the closeup Portrait of a girl and you’re touching up her eyes, it’s really very important not just to work on the shape of the eye but also on the eyeball, the eyelashes and even the reflection that is showing up in her eyeballs. That is where your painting will stand out amidst the crowd.

STEP 4: Don’t overdo

Okay! So you have been working hard till now. It’s time to focus only on the bad areas by

finalizing them with major/minor strokes and not touching the already perfect spheres of the painting. You have to be very focused this time because you’re almost one step away from transforming that ugly painting into a world-famous wannabe artwork and you really can’t afford a mistake this time. I won’t recommend you use a lot of strokes over the same area which is already done in a right manner as it may degrade the quality of the paper on which you’re working if it’s not on canvas. Also excess of everything is bad, detailing your artworks are desirable but over detailing might also make it ugly and congested. So try not to load your painting with each and everything, try to make it as natural as possible.

STEP 5: Compare with B&W

Now that you have worked on the minute details as well, now you need to take a ride for checking where the intensity of strokes and colors is right or not. For this, I’d recommend you to take a picture of the painting and convert it in a black and white snapshot: it can be done with the help of various mobile features and Photoshop available on desktop.

This is where you can find the light and dark areas of your painting and where adjustments need to be done. Turning things black and white can actually help you a lot in checking the consistency of your strokes and the level of color that has been absorbed by the painting. With that, you can obviously make necessary changes by adding more or fewer colors to your painting. Trust me a small adjustment can pave the way for something huge!

STEP 6: Share with friends

Once you have completed your painting and if you’re still not satisfied, unfortunately! Then you should take the help of your friends or your art professor. Maybe they can scrutinize it better and tell you where it lacks originality. But I would suggest you, to show it to somebody who doesn’t have an artistic hand because an artist may always seek for perfection and might not like the work of other artists or may find faults in the minute details as well.

I’d personally suggest you show it to a normal person who is a non-artist and doesn’t have any interest in art. Show them both the original picture and your painting, If they also find the fault, then there is something seriously wrong with the painting. But don’t be disappointed, we have one more solution lined up for you!

If you’re not too sure about showing it your friends as they have a fear of judgment then you can definitely take art assistance from your art professor or any of your art mentor whose works you look up to. They can help you out with some professional guidance on how to get things straight.

STEP 7: Last Resort

After applying all the above steps, if the painting still looks ugly then there are only two solutions:

  • Start off from scratch: Maybe your planning and execution went wrong contrary to how you thought it would work. If you’re that dedicated to making only that masterpiece, then you should start from the beginning, this time with a proper jotted down plan in hand. But don’t worry that’s not the end of the world, look around your room you already have enough reasons to celebrate your art. You’re already a great artist. And always remember it’s not always about the destination, but the journey that matters.


  • Work on something new: Sometimes what we think and what happens are not inclined to each other. Maybe the one you were working on was not your niche and was not the perfect suit for you. But don’t lose hope, start with something new and complete it and then get back to your previous painting. You’ll gain more confidence and motivation to start it again! Because it’s rightly said, when god closes all your doors, he always opens one door for you to escape. You already came this far, now it’s time to utilize your life’s potential to something more engaging and fruitful.

I hope these tips helped you get past the ugly stage of a painting. Don’t be tensed; every Artist goes through this stage in their lives while making big things. You can see some great masterpieces at BookMyPainting

Congratulations! You’re already on your way to make some big happening. Don’t frustrate, don’t quit and keep doing. Painting is calm and relaxing which makes you patient every single second and with every single stroke. Remember great things take time and great people stand tall even after so many failures. So fall 99 times and stand up 100. Keep painting and escaping into your own artistic world.


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