I have taken progress shots of almost every painting I have created over the past seven years. This has been an invaluable habit. Not only does it remind me how each painting came together, but it also helps me solve problems that arise in my paintings.
Often a painting will be coming together nicely… until it’s not. At some point in the painting, things took a turn for the worse without me noticing. I’m sure you know the feeling.
This is where progress shots come in handy. I can look back through the photos on my phone and see where it all started to go wrong. Perhaps there was a hard edge that I accidentally softened; perhaps I introduced a color that doesn’t work; or perhaps my brushwork got sloppy. Whatever the case, it’s helpful to know what went wrong and when. I might not be able to go back to that point, but the insight will help me come up with a solution.
Another benefit is being able to look at progress shots of your current work between sessions when you’re away from the easel. I do this often with challenging paintings that run over a few sessions. I’ll typically lie in bed before I go to sleep, look at the most recent progress shot, and ponder my next moves. This allows me to start the next session with momentum and an idea of what to do.
Anyway, hope you found this helpful.