View Full Version : When to stop?

04-22-2008, 11:40 AM

Title: When to stop?
Year Created: 2008
Medium: Acrylic
Surface: Canvas
Dimension: 8X8
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

Emulation of a painting by Mary Cassett. I painted this for my mom for mother's day. It is still a WIP and I know some things don't look "right".

How far should I take it toward realizm? I'm looking for advice on how to know when to stop. My inclination is to keep painting until it looks like a photo.

04-22-2008, 01:16 PM
Picasso said that all great paintings require two people. One to paint; the second to force the first to stop. It's kind of a weird comment coming from Picasso who produced 10,000 paintings (figure one per day for 30 years) but there it is.

I'm uncertain how to advise you, but here's what I do. When I begin a painting, I usually hope for a rough or impressionistic result. But, the painting generally doesn't look so hot so I keep adding details and find that it improves. At some point, it looks good so I stop. I probably tend to stop too soon rather than being an "overworker." So...like you I'm often too detailed and other artists tell me this sometimes.

I've heard it said, a way to deal with this is to give yourself a time limit (even as short as 10 minutes). This doesn't work for me. I just make a bad painting. What has worked is to use a pallette knife only. Others say, just use a big 'ole brush. LOL.

04-22-2008, 01:50 PM
NIkki- I like the freshness of this... its a pretty small piece and I think if you do too much more (especially since you're unsure about it!) it could get overworked looking.

04-22-2008, 04:38 PM
This is beautiful and full of emotion, a complete statement just as it is...even though I do wonder what the object behind the womans head is, I dont think I would try and adjust anything . It might disrupt the soft flow of beauty that the painting has.

04-22-2008, 11:30 PM
very strong piece..all it needs is maybe a darker blotch of color behind her on the left
I love the colors and subjects

04-23-2008, 02:05 AM
I love your painting and your question. One I ask myself all the time!.. I would leave it except for the object behindto left of the ladys head. It needs either to be taken a tiny bit further to define what it is, or eliminated?
I love the colors and that pose with the childs hand placement is so sweet. Really really nice!!

04-23-2008, 03:43 AM
You are not alone with this question! There are always things you see on your own picture. What I see on your painting is beautiful, you could stop here or ...

04-23-2008, 10:34 AM
wtxrockgirl - i was just having my morning coffee and looking around here, and found this. i really like it. it's honest and authentic. very consistent in the overall application - you have bits going horizontally, as well as vertically. looks like you have thick pieces here and thin pieces there. i'd start another one imo. and it's 8x8?? you've done a great job.

i understand you wanting to go for the photo look, but this is cool in itself.

04-23-2008, 11:18 AM
I am deeply humbled that you all like my piece. Thank you so much for your comments. I am learning so much from all of you. I can't even express how happy I am to get to hang around here! --Nikki