View Full Version : Poll - How often to you paint?

01-15-2018, 01:41 PM
I am curious about other's work habits. After trying and failing to paint on a daily basis, I began to wondering about other people's practices.

Do you paint regularly? Do you try keep to some kind of routine or schedule, or simply paint when you have the time, and am in the mood?

I am also curious if you paint at a particular time of day (when lighting conditions wouldn't determine the time of day).

01-15-2018, 06:55 PM
I draw or paint on a daily basis, health permitting. I find that's what keeps me going well enough to be able to do serious painting on good days. It's not always pastel but it's always something.

During winter I'm more likely to paint during daylight hours because I can't get photos of my paintings to come out well in the evening. It's a lot easier by daylight. That and it gets colder at night.

I paint when I'm physically up to it, disabilities limit me so there are times it's no more than a quick sketch, but sticking to that most days makes a difference and gets me going. I count anything as daily art. Even artish - once in a while writing about art is what counts as the day's art.

As for time of day, I sometimes get better results if I do it in the morning. That's somewhat weather dependent though, if it's a bad day my best time is two to four in the afternoon when the sun's had the chance to give as much heat as it's going to.

01-19-2018, 08:07 AM
Thanks for your comments, Robert. Interesting, at this point here seems to be a break between those painting at least a few time a week, and those doing less than that. Though, I shouldn't make assumptions about the "whenever I feel like" group,

We have 126 people viewing, but only 12 responding. C'mon you lurkers, it's not a trap.

01-19-2018, 06:52 PM
I definitely fall in the "every day" group- which is understandable as Im a professional artist - but even back when I had a non-art "day job" I tried my best to paint or draw every single day.

I think sometimes people believe that you have to be "motivated" to draw or paint but really, many days, you walk into your studio & think just how much more comfortable the couch would be. My rule is: give it 30 minutes. Set a timer if you need to. Start drawing or painting, even if you dont feel like it. 9 times out of 10 when that timer goes off, you'll want to continue drawing. If you dont - you're just not feeling it - call it a day.

And as for time... when we had our first child I found that i had NO TIME - for anything really. I was working full time, we adopted a baby and then got pregnant too - we were trying to do renos .... and you know what happened? I started drawing more than ever. The lack of time meant I had to be very very careful with what time i had. Sure, i stopped watching TV and some other activities but it became clear what things I wanted to keep in my daily routine and what things I could let go of.

01-20-2018, 05:46 PM
Unfortunately, anymore I have become a sporadic painter.
For a while I painted (pastels) everyday. Then it was one day a week. After that I'd get into this "trance-like" artistic mode and I would paint 6 or 8 of even 10 paintings one right after the other. Never stopping except for the occasional bathroom break. Or I would run out of pastel paper. It was like a flurry of artistic energy and emotional creativity, then... just like that, "POOF", It would end and I wouldn't, or more to the point "couldn't" produce anything. Not even a respectable stick figure. For months on end my creativity would hit a brick wall. I'm at that point right now and I hate myself for it.
Spring is coming...so will my art (hope floats).

01-20-2018, 08:46 PM
Painting has never been my profession - and at times I worked my real job plus was a fitness instructor for 20 years, teaching classes 3 or 4 evening a week - so art was never something I had a lot of time for. If I completed 10 to 12 paintings a year, that would be a lot. (When I was younger I went to art school and then for a number of years thereafter, I did do more.) Now, I work my real job only part time and no longer teach any fitness classes...and I am no more productive than I was then!

If art is a hobby or something you do for fun - or just because you feel the need to be creative, then I always urge people do as much as they want - when they want. Don't worry about what others do. Don't worry if you are in a "slump" or don't have any ideas at the moment. I once went two years without doing a single painting after a sudden death in the family. It's OK to do nothing!! These are my opinions, of course, and others may disagree!

Early in 2017 I worked on two paintings that I started (and already signed) in 2016. Later in the year I revised a painting that was done and signed in 2015! In the fall I did 3 digital pen and ink drawings. That, alas, was my 2017 production. Of course, I also do a lot of photography, so I did have other creative outlets.

I like to think...it's not the quantity, but the quality! :smug: (Of course, the quality may be debatable, so maybe I should concentrate more on the quantity!):eek:


01-24-2018, 10:27 AM
I'm inconsistent.

When I'm on vacation I paint a whole lot more. These days my schedule is difficult so I'm often completely wiped out by the time I am able to get to the easel.

Currently I am not in a slump (thank goodness) so I have been painting several times a week.....finished one on Sunday, started another late last night that I will probably work on more tonight.

01-31-2018, 11:01 AM
After getting very frustrated with my paintings during most of last year, I have started to paint on a regularly basis last autumn. It helped me tremendously to paint more and better and be better organized. I would have liked to try out to paint a painting a day for a whole month, but that was just not possible considering all my other obligations. Instead I have set myself the goal to paint/draw/print one picture per week from the reference pictures of that week's WDE and put it online on Wetcanvas. After a while, it has started to become a normal option in the evenings when I am not too tired to spend half an hour or an hour or even two on my artwork, I have my art supplies ready and spend the time available much more efficiently.

01-31-2018, 11:31 AM
I have a fulltime job so that right there does impose limits on my art time. Plus I only oil-paint in warm weather when I can have windows open or paint outside. Same with the dry pastels.

02-01-2018, 08:56 AM
Thanks for everyone's response. I hope more people check in.

It is interesting to see people have their own different schedules, and motivations. It is becoming clear artists are individuals. Who'd a thunk it?

02-01-2018, 07:29 PM
I like to think...it's not the quantity, but the quality! :smug: (Of course, the quality may be debatable, so maybe I should concentrate more on the quantity!):eek:


I know you were joking around a little Don but I also wanted to share a story. I recently read a book - Art & Fearby David Bayles. In it he relays a story about a pottery teacher friend. I also had a similar story with an instructor in drawing.

In both cases the teacher did an experiment (the potter was a semester-long, my friend was a month-long project) where they split the class in 2. 1/2 was told to create quantity - as many pieces as they liked, and they could submit every single one of them for final crit if they liked.

The other group was told to focus on quality. One single piece would be judged.

At the end of the project (or term) the student would bring forth their 1 piece (or their truck-load of pieces) and be judged. In nearly every case the quantity won by a large margin.

The hypothesis is that in the attempt to make perfection, people tightened up. Those that were concerned with quantity loosened up, tried new things - and most importantly - had fun. :)

02-08-2018, 09:54 AM
I just ran across this old stream that gives a lot of insight in different people's methods:


02-11-2018, 11:37 AM
When I first started painting I couldn't wait for the weekend. I was painting out of my head, so every day I had more ideas. That period passed.
Took up painting again after kids were growing up on vacations. Unfortunately, that meant a few days out of every 1 - 3 years! Not ideal and left me feeling that I was losing something significant.
Joined a meetup group and now I organize outings every 2 weeks, so that's my current schedule. I'm still working more than full time and not as an artist. But at this point I'm painting mostly landscapes plein air.
One of my colleagues paints daily even though working and running her own business. She never fails. Must paint over canvases at that rate!
Everybody is different.
If I ever get to retire, I might try painting daily just to see if I have it in me.

04-23-2018, 03:58 PM
Over time the number has varied greatly; from 5 days a week to almost never - the latter being toddler stage of parenting. Currently its at least once a week as I'm still teaching a pastel class, but in studio work is "as needed".

04-23-2018, 09:13 PM
I WAS painting about two days a week. Then I got fired. Now I have all time in the world, but very little motivation.

04-26-2018, 01:07 PM
Now I paint several times a week again - early mornings, late at night if the painting demands attention (afternoons while on conference calls when I can get away with it). Does it matter if it's "good enough" to expose to others? Sort of, but I'm working on "not really" so that I can keep going and improve. The Wet Canvas community supports this with feedback as well as constructive ideas and critiques.

Richard Barrere
04-27-2018, 01:47 PM
Hi everyone, I paint as often as I am able, still in the beginning phase and learning as much as I can. I love it, and can't seem to get enough. I work full time so painting is done whenever I get some free time, which has been every weekend for the past several months. I have about 20 paintings now that I feel are finished. I have a goal of being able to at least support myself in a few years when I retire, so I plan to do a lot more of it then. I'm working on getting better as fast as possible, so that hopefully I will be good enough to attend workshops and get myself to the point of selling a few here and there. Right now I'm just enjoying the heck out of it, and doing it whenever I get the chance.

04-28-2018, 01:37 PM
I would like to paint daily, but work and life seldom cooperate, so I paint when I can.


Moises Menendez
05-16-2018, 04:07 PM
I you are dedicated and you set a plan you could paint at least 1-3 days a week.
I have a busy job and even I work weekends but i find time to do pastel and charcoal three days a week.