I doubt I'm the first person to come up with it but it sure works for me.. I shall now share my favorite refinement "trick".
Start with a photo that shows the horse in the current state you'd like to fix;
Make a duplicate layer and sit down with photoshop - start playing back and forth until you can achieve the changes;
Then overlay photo 1 (the original) with photo 2 (fiddled with) on top - invert the colors on photo 2 and then take the transparency down to 50%. ALL of your changes now pop out clearly;
You can now print out the "ideal" and this weird looking "changes only shown" photo. Sometimes it helps to make another semi-transparent layer of just outlines over the changes so you can tell what is where. Here though my overlays aren't quite as mysterious - I can see the outline well enough. If I do a perfect one (just as I've described above only - I did additional fiddling to see the horse's shape here) tho the changes just look like random marks on a gray screen.
Did that make sense? lol! Well like I said, it really works for me. It makes it very easy to see exactly where I want to hack around next and results in a lot less messing about trying to figure out what's wrong.
Since I'd sought out those critiques a week or so back, I've gotten really really awesome feedback. Keen and extremely helpful observations on where she's weak (for what I've intended) and her stronger points (which helps to know becuase to be honest, a lot of times I can easily kill what was good about a work).
Aaaaaand in other news, yesterday I got out to a hobby show (that's what all that productivity in the painting area was about!).. and, aside from my 3 newly painted horses doing well, got to see some of my client's horses doing well too. Hey, it helps to inspire! It really does. :) See in our area we have some brutal competition; astounding collections of talented artist's work. I obviously took these photos primarily for my own galleries but I did get a couple of those other amazing works in there. I have to admit I wasn't too diligent about it however. Remember that I've seen many of these horses already. I just plain forgot a lot of times! I couldn't look when they were judging the call back overalls. We just had one call back - for all the Artist's Resins (20-something classes). I was sooo pessimistic that I'd even get a top ten out of 40 some odd horses.
(that is a sculpture I did that I've recently finished painting.. and some of my clients got them too, whole gallery is here -> http://one-horse.net/galleries/HVClassic/index.html and I'm just thrilled for them - congrats to all!)
Primarily tho? Shows to me are about socializing. I had more horses than usual (6 - chuckles, in a realm where people bring 20-50 usually?). It was a challenge just to make sure I showed up for my classes on my 4hrs of sleep. I get too excited before shows. I don't get out of the house often ya know. ;)