Readers Respond: How Long Does It Take You to Complete a Painting?

By Marion Boddy-Evans

As long it takes to be satisfied

It takes me as long as it takes to be satisfied. Sometimes it is in an evening and some are still waiting to be finished because I wasn’t pleased and had to get away from it. It took me 5 weeks to finish one of my favorite paintings.
—Guest lynn

How long does it take?

The way I am painting every painting I do could be called completed after each session… in reality I often call a painting completed when I am inspired by another one… and so on.

How Long?

What does it matter? However long it takes, it takes. I sometimes go back even years later and work on something. I leave it for a while and then go back to it. Am I ever finished?I don’t know. As long as I am satisfied with it, that’s all that matters.
—Guest Anne

As long as it takes

Once I start painting, it doesn’t matter how long it takes as I enjoy painting and not what is created. Oil painting takes more time, I have taken 6 months to complete a painting of the Golden Temple. It is always better to work in sessions rather than at one go unless one is working wet-in-wet technique. I am still learning, from time to time I review my paintings to monitor my progress. Sometimes,I rework my paintings to freshen them or add details or correct them. For example, I added colour to pen drawings or added foliage to a drawing of a building.
—Guest Meera Ahuja

How Long You Say?

It really depends on the size, style and detail of your painting. Usually I like to sit down and finish in a couple sessions, otherwise I loose that gusto and it would feel like a chore to finish it. Also having a deadline can sometimes help to motivate you to paint, plus I don’t really like to go back and change it once I’m done, otherwise I would constantly be looking for flaws in my work to fix!
—Guest Denni

Unfinished or Not?

This is a fascinating subject… although for me it’s more about; when do you stop. I have a stack of paintings in my studio that I don’t feel are finish yet, or for whatever reason, I’m not satisfied with. Strange, but when people come to my studio they are drawn to that “unfinished” stack. They feign interest in the ones I feel are more presentable. People tell me the paintings in the unfinished pile have an unsettling aspect that “speaks” to them. Not in those exact words, but it’s the idea that an uncompleted painting is so much more stimulating to our subconscious.
—Guest Larry

Don’t Finish

If you look at an “almost” finished painting of a subject your familiar with, your brain has a way of recognizing it, and putting it all together…or finishing it. It stimulates your brain. It’s about being drawn to a painting and not knowing why. If the painting is totally finished, it’s static and your brain will want to move on to something more stimulating. This, in my humble opinion, was one of the secrets of the impressionists. You give the viewer an impression and they are mesmerized while their brain works to put it all together … If you look at the same “almost” finished painting on another day, while in a different mood, your brain might give you a different image. This also gives a painting life; finish it completely and it will be static and dead.
—Guest Larry

how long

I do everything i wanted to do to develop the painting. I then set it up where I can look at from time to time. I will then see if I am satisfied or if I need to enhance it more. It always works for me.

How long to finish?

I’ve done some in 2 hours and one in 20 years, but it changed some, several times. My sister says that after 20 years of intense study, she woke up one morning to discover that she had “talent”. So that means 20 years plus painting time.

First Varnish

Often when I have put the first varnish on, that’s when I realize what is needed to finish. Truly this does happen occasionally. Best advice I was given was to leave it for a few days or longer, then go back to it with fresh eyes.
—Guest rodney39

As Long as it Takes to Feel Right

This past spring I discovered a trove of unfinished paintings in my sister’s attic and even more in my mother’s attic. I thought to throw them away but when I reviewed each one, my overall feeling was that I’d like to finish them — to make them appear as I originally saw them, to feel ‘right.’. There were approx 100 paintings and all scenes from windows in a variety of places I’ve lived since 1991. I’ve learned a lot about myself and my painting since then and am learning a lot in the adding more paint and experience which I hope will lead to satisfaction that I’m done and able to move on. I came across a quote that I feel is so true and applies to this journey of mine and everyone else: “Achieving a goal is nothing. The getting there is everything.”
—Guest GG

It Depends

Watercolors, mostly same day I started, although they can be done in stages that take days. Watercolor/pastel mixed can take weeks with only a few minutes a day actually spent working on them, more time just looking and trying to decide what next.

Make a Definite Stop

After years of being frustrated by the timing of my work, when or when not it is finished. I came to a place where I concluded, as a more mature artist: my art is finished when I say it is. I looked at the back of a turtle one day. Then it dawned on me that even in its roughness and irregularity lies its uniqueness and perceived beauty. This true art. The artists ability to take ownership of the completion of his work. I decide on the timing from the beginning. And I make a definite stop and it’s out of my hands. Let the world of diverse viewers consume it as they wish.
—Guest Zakari

Four Hours

I try to set aside a 4-hour block of time once a week and complete a 16″ x 20″ or 18″ x 24″ painting during that time. If I stop, I usually lose the “vision” and get frustrated when I resume painting.
—Guest Esjay

Leave the Key Detail Till Last

I went back to school after 20 years … my mentor answered my question “How come I get 70 per cent through a painting and lose interest, or can’t seem to finish it? If I force it, I kill the painting” with this useful advice: “In every painting we start there is one thing that made us want to do the painting, a shape, color or trick of light. Leave that detail til last and the painting will build to a satisfying climax when we achieve what we have anticipated for the entire painting.” I have never had the problem since.





Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)

Follow by Email