When is my painting finished? That is a question that only you as the artist can answer. The above painting is not done but as I looked at it from a distance I love the white in the painting. So to finish the painting I might lose some of the nice whiteness of the paper. Also as I work on the painting I can change where the focus is. Just a slight adjustment can change the feel of the painting and where the viewer is going to look.
‘I’ve always said you know the painting is done when it starts to sing. Everything has come together on the painting, the value, the color and the design. I keep working on a painting until I can see nothing else on the painting that has to be done. Sometimes fear keeps us from finishing a painting. We are worried that one more mark will ruin the watercolor forever. And sometimes it does, but it is worth the chance to create exactly what you want. Maybe a glaze over part of the painting directs the eye to the figure. Maybe you have to lift off a bit of color or create a darker mark somewhere. You have to move forward with some faith.
I love the scripture in 2 Timothy 1:7 that says: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” So we move forward on the painting much like we move forward in life, hoping that the end product will be better than where we are right now. We have the power of the education we have acquired and the years of practice and effort from the previous paintings we’ve done and we move forward with confidence because your confidence shows up in every stroke you put on your paper. If you don’t have the years of experience, then you go off of the love of the process and the desire to improve. It becomes a life long pursuit.
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