When do you consider a painting finished?

How do you consider a painting finished? Got this question a few days ago, and thought that it was a really good question. When are you actually done, and when is it time to drop that brush and move on to a new piece?

Been thinking about this for a while now, and frankly, it’s super hard to give a short, straight answer.

I’m mainly focusing on personal art right now, as client work involves more people than just the artist itself.

In my case, it’s a lot about gut feeling. I continue working on a piece, as long as there are mistakes left to fix. Iike weird proportions, strange colour schemes, annoying details, and so on. Decluttering. I also try to stick to main idea, of what I’d like to say with the piece.

Then one has to know when to let go, before overly detailing the piece. That’s a tricky balance! This part has gotten easier, the older I get. I’ve become better at accepting that I won’t be able to fix everything, all at once. Every painting you make, is a part of a larger picture. Gosh, I know. It’s super cheezy but, it’s true, hehe.

However, this mindset definitely helps me when I paint. When I look at older paintings, I spot flaws everywhere. So many annoying details that I’d like to fix. But, I’ve learned to accepts those mistakes, as beauty spots. Then I keep my fingers crossed, that nobody else will notice them, except me ;)

What are your thoughts on this? When do you consider a painting finished?


1 Comment

  1. Tej 9 July, 2020 at 19:33

    I think it’s upto each artist to make that decision of when to stop. I go with my gut as well. But I’m not too critical with my mistakes. To me, if the painting conveys the idea across, and if it looks right to me, I move on.


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