How do I know when a painting is finished?
In an earlier blog post I wrote about how having a clear idea about why you are painting something can help you know when the piece is done.
Another important aspect of completing a painting is to identify the finishing touches that take a piece from ‘basically done’ to ‘perfecto’.
Subtlety is important in art. As I get close to finishing a painting, I spend a lot of time looking and far less time taking action. Also, the actions I take get smaller and more specific. After all, it’s almost there and I don’t want to nullify all the good work I’ve done to this point. At this stage, patience is a virtue indeed. So is the discipline to make yourself stop, step back, and take a good hard look at what you have in front of you.
Here is a recent painting, “Crying On The Inside” (oil on canvas, 12”x12”, $325, available at time of posting). The image on the left is ‘almost done’; the image on the right shows the completed piece.
I took 12 very specific actions to bring the piece to completion. Can you identify them? If you think you know, I invite you to share this post on social media with your answers!