Learn from Michelle

Am I Finished?

"A painting is never finished - it simply stops in interesting places." -Paul Gardner
With enough time and thought, there will just about always be something more you could have done to a painting before deeming it "finished." As artists, we recognize this and even grieve ourselves over it sometimes, especially if something isn't quite right.
So, how do we even decide when a painting is finished? 🤔 What criteria does it have to meet technically? What about the emotional criteria?
As you are learning to paint, it is a lot easier to meet the technical criteria because there is often a specific goal in mind. Yet, as you gain a bigger and more equipped tool belt, it is easy to no longer have a set goal on the technical side. During this time and when you paint for fun are when the emotional criteria come more into play.
Feeling satisfied at the end of your time painting is a pretty good indicator that it has stopped in the right interesting place. However, you can be satisfied and still recognize that there is more that could be done. This is why critique is such an important part of Beyond the Brushes.
There are 3 things personalized critique accomplishes:
1) You get a trained eye looking over and providing feedback on THAT painting.
2) You give your eyes a break from looking at it to come back with a fresh perspective.
3) You have increased assurance and satisfaction at the end of the process, meeting the emotional criteria you needed to check the boxes for to consider the painting "finished" in your mind.
So yes, there is always more you can do, but deeming a painting "finished" is more about knowing what not to do and giving yourself permission to stop.
 Hand-painted in Adobe Photoshop CC using the Wacom Intuos Pro and the Wacom Art Pen.
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