Saturday, June 21, 2008

How do you know when you're finished?

The scene: Lopez Island in the San Juan Islands of Washington. A beautiful wetlands.

I am often asked the question "How do you know when you're finished with a painting?" The truth is: I don't.

But, I usually know when I've gone too far. Too much detail or fussing will strip the joy right out of the painting. And kill it.

It isn't nice to kill a painting. And it really frustrates me when I do it!

This one is a little less refined than some of my other paintings, but the tall grass and the scene seemed to call for less finish and more freedom. I stopped painting before I got that sinking feeling I get when I go too far.

Please feel free to comment and tell me if you think this needs more finishing. I'm all ears.


bullwinkle said...

I think you reached a good stopping point. Certainly is difficult to know when to stop. I've watched a few videos of painting and felt that the artists should stop way sooner than they do. Must be why they make the big bucks. Like you say; when you start doing a lot of detail, maybe that is a good time to adjust the artistic eye and evaluate where you want to go with the piece.

Nick said...

I like how this one turned out! You captured a Washington sky quite nicely, especially reflected in the water.