Monday, April 25, 2016

When is a painting finished?

So how do you know when a painting is finished?  Last year I painted this on a cradled panel sized 10"x10" and I got attached to the colours and the form and thought it was finished.

But the other day when I looked at it again I found it quite lacking; a little boring in fact. So I jumped in and pushed it further by adding more layers of colour and scraping back.

The only area I really liked was the bottom left corner so I left that section and kept adding layers.

This is what I came up with....

I like this incarnation much more. I find it more interesting with the additional striations and the soft blue painted over some of the green. I miss the gradations somewhat but overall I think this is a better painting.  

The question is: have I gone far enough?  If I add more to it there is the risk of going too far and ruining the feeling this evokes.

For me it's all about the feeling. I just keep painting until it doesn't bug me any more. This painting has achieved that. But could it be better?

Feedback and comments are welcome.


  1. Set it aside for a day and then look at it again.
    I paint till I feel happy and then come back to it.
    Now I am painting in watercolor more than oil. A little more iffy easy to overwork.

    cheers, parsnip

  2. I like it. As you say, it doesn't bug you now, so that's probably your hallmark.

  3. I liked both I have to say. The second is stronger but the first is more mysterious. Great work! I love your art!!


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