The Creative Workflow
Painting is not a linear activity. A painting is not made in the same way that one might make a jigsaw puzzle: from bottom left to top right. Here are eight screen grabs from the making of a painting. You can see that the basic form is in place from very early on in the history of the painting and large image decisions are being made throughput. This might seem like stating the obvious, but as a general rule of thumb the finishing-off is the last thing that is done in a painting. It is probably not a good thing if you are attending to the details just after you have begun painting.
Evaluating the painting
Traditional painters often look at their paintings in a mirror so as to check the composition of their paintings. By doing this the artist's view of their work is 'refreshed' by encountering their work in an unfamiliar aspect. The digital artist has a digital equivalent to this: the fliperoo. The fliperoo is often accompanied by notations. The process is this: fliperoo > notate on a new layer > reverse fliperoo. The reverse fliperoo is best done by shift-selecting both the notation layer and the flipped layer and then free-transforming. In the image above the notations can be seen to be both visual and in written form. Learn it. It is important. Good artists often wrap this up in an action that is wired to a hot key.
The other thing we can do is to reduce the size of the image on the screen by Zooming out. This is the equivalent of the traditional painter stepping back to get a distance on the painting.
Making a saturation map using a Selective Color adjustment can provide vital feedback on the saturation values of the image. Similarly, using a Hue Saturation to desaturate the image can reveal the lightness structure of the image.