I keep a journal of all the artwork, good or bad, I’ve done. I photograph each painting and tape it into a composition notebook with a description of how I came up with the idea, whether it expresses what I was trying to accomplish and what colors and techniques I used. Sometimes just looking at a photograph of my painting helps me see that what I was trying to express or the color schemes I was using didn’t come out as I’d planned. I can then make changes and add a photo of the final piece to my book alongside the first attempt to show how I fixed it.
Looking at photos of my paintings enables me to see my art from the standpoint of a casual observer rather than the artist. Photos also provide a reference for techniques I might want to try again. Although I have a long way to go in my art, it’s nice to see what I’ve already accomplished. When I feel discouraged, looking through my journal gives me hope.