Friday, February 1, 2019

How Do You Know When Your Painting is Finished

I was talking to a fellow artist recently when he asked me how I know when a painting is finished. Now that’s a tricky question, and one that occurs to me all the time. He admitted that he is never sure when his paintings are finished. Making the decision to stop is difficult. I sometimes have the same dilemma. Stopping too soon can result in a piece that lacks vitality or is simply under-worked. On the other hand, continuing to rework a painting can cause the painting to lose its vigor and freshness.  Stepping back can help. With the painting out of sight for a while, it can be viewed with a fresh perspective when seen again. I’ve done this many times and often repeatedly with the same painting. Sometimes the decision is to start over; other times a few touches can make a tremendous difference.

“It is difficult to stop in time because one gets carried away. But I have that strength; it is the only strength I have” – Claude Monet