Stepping back and getting some distance between myself and a painting I’m working on, gives me a new perspective that I don’t get while working up close. I tend to see what I meant to draw rather than what I actually did. Similarly, when I put a piece out of sight for a few days, when I take it out again any mistakes I’ve made will stand out-when I didn’t see them at all before. It’s similar to writing that way. I don’t always have the patience to wait, so luckily there’s a shortcut; the mirror.
Ever so often I hold up whatever I’m working on up in front of the mirror, or I stand with my back facing the work and hold up my hand mirror. Looking at the work in reverse allows me to see any misplaced features or perspective mistakes and correct them before I’ve put a lot of hours into it.