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Kevin2417
05-13-2010, 11:47 AM
Hello everyone,

I am curious how many hours it takes you all to complete a painting from start to finish? I am sure those of you who have been painting for years have it down to only a few hours now.

How long did it take you to get to where you are today?

Paula Ford
05-13-2010, 01:20 PM
I've always been a fast painter. My paintings take between 2 and 8 hours to complete. If it takes more time than that, I get bored, or the painting isn't working and it goes in the trash or gets wiped off.

PeggyB
05-13-2010, 01:23 PM
It depends upon the complexity of the subject. Some I finish in a couple hours, and some take days. To me it isn't about the time taken; it is about the journey and experience getting there.

Peggy

DAK723
05-13-2010, 02:00 PM
In my experience - and having watched a few DVDs of some top pastellists - speed is not indicative of anything! I couldn't even watch some of the DVDs because the artist worked so slowly I became too anxious! So I guess that I would be considered fast. I also tend to work somewhat impressionistically, without much detail and without a lot of layering. I almost always complete a painting in one sitting (not counting the fiddling that comes later). It used to rarely take me over an hour to an hour and a half. Now with more experience, I take longer - still no more than 2 to 3 hours. Of course, it depends on the complexity of the subject and the size of the painting, too.

My advice - don't worry about the time it takes or how it compares to others. Just don't spend a lot of extra time fiddling with a painting that is done - however long it took to get there!

Don

allydoodle
05-13-2010, 02:31 PM
Oh my, that's a loaded question! :lol:

It depends on your perspective, I guess. How many years did it take to learn to do something so fast? Or how much time did it take to figure out what was wrong with a painting? Or how long did I stare at it, looking for something wrong, to make sure I didn't miss anything? (I can stare at my paintings for a ridiculous amount of time! :evil: ) I can do a portrait in an hour, and most times get a good likeness. Then there are those times when no matter what I do, it doesn't look anything like the person! Sometimes the still life I set up works like a charm, and I paint at record speed, and other times, nothing works! Then of course, there are the landscapes, which I struggle with endlessly. They usually take me the longest.

Like Don, I've also watched DVD's that seem to go on forever, and the finished product is beautiful. I've also watched demos at my art club, and seen artists complete beautiful stuff while all the time talking to an audience and teaching (it feels like they painted in warp speed!).

In the end, it's not speed that counts, but the results. I agree with Don's comment

Just don't spend a lot of extra time fiddling with a painting that is done - however long it took to get there!


I guess my answer is, it just depends on the day, and the artist!

WC Lee
05-13-2010, 02:46 PM
It also depend on what one would consider finished :) and what the goal was for the painting: sketchy, abstract, painterly, photo-realistic. Depending on what the goal was, it can take anywhere from 10 minutes to never.

I agree with the above posts, it doesn't matter how fast you paint, it is the journey there and the experiences gained.

as for the final question ... got back into art in 2006 after a 20+ years hiatus and before that, I only used graphite and pen & ink.

chuas2
05-13-2010, 03:27 PM
It usually takes me three or four days to do a painting. Mostly because I work full time. But even if I didn't, I'd probably take at least two full days. I've always been a slow painter!

The other question, is about 50 years. :lol: Came out of the womb drawing, stopped for a while, went to the CA College of Arts, stopped that and went to Graphic Design school, stopped that, just started back, mostly in pastels!
Chuas

Colorix
05-13-2010, 03:55 PM
Now, anything between 2 hours and 20, depending on size and complexity (and how much I have to brush off and redo).

I wouldn't have gotten down to 2 hours if I had not forced myself to speed up, with sketches. A good way was to take part in the WDE in AMAE (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=620575) (the link goes to today's WDE, there'll be a new one every Friday). (Yeah, so what's an AMAE? All Media Art Events forum on WC, and the Weekly Drawing Event, where you get 2 hours for a painting/sketch.) Mine started as sketches, and after a year I found that I could produce paintings, small ones, in that time.

The other thing I did was to paint slowly until I just had more experience and had intuited some of the process. Greater speed came by itself.

Some of the DVDs I've watched, I haven't... LOL! I mean, I've fast forwarded when getting to nervous watching an artist caress the same spot for 20 minutes.

Charlie

allydoodle
05-13-2010, 04:32 PM
Forgot to answer the second question.

I've liked drawing portraits since high school, then I dropped art for 19 years :eek: , and have since picked it up and been painting now for 17 years :D . When I reintroduced myself to art, I started with watercolor :eek: :eek: , found out very quickly that wasn't really for me as a prime medium, and then discovered pastels about 16 years ago. I haven't looked back! They are addicting, I just love the look of them, and how they feel in the hand. They work well for any subject matter, and since high school I have discovered still life and landscapes as well. I still do watercolor ocassionaly, as well as pencil sketches, but pastel is my passion!

huni
05-13-2010, 09:54 PM
This was fun reading everyones experience and painting times. Thanks for the question Kevin.

For me the painting comes together quickly, a few hours usually, then days and even weeks of looking, walking around and around the table, worrying and fiddling till it feels right. Not recommended of course, as I have ruined some by not stopping and out they go.
I must say though, although I only started in Nov last year, I started this way; Went to the library - got as many books on pastels as they would let me take - about 7 I think - then opened up the first one and did one lesson a day for about three weeks - by then I was hooked and ready to do my first proper painting (the one of the three small children) at the time I only had a huge sheet of watercolour paper that I tried to do a watercolour on (so bad I never got going with it) and that was the beginning for me.

How I got to here? Mostly the above - tho' I have always drawn on anything with anything I could find since I was 4. Loved drawing hands, faces and people almost exclusively. Took some drawing lessons when I grew up (about 6 lessons) but was too shy to get much out of it. Didn't draw for many years. Took up poetry instead, then 3 years ago started to include little sketches in my journals and that got me going again.

Okay I'll stop now, I am still excited to spend time with other people who love drawing and painting, sorry :)
huni

allydoodle
05-13-2010, 11:26 PM
Huni,

Don't be sorry! I enjoyed your journey! I'm glad you're back to painting, and pastels are the best!

Deborah Secor
05-14-2010, 02:12 PM
A pastel painting generally takes me between 20 minutes and an hour to complete, occasionally as much as 2-3 hours, often with several days in between sessions. I have a low 'success' ratio, however, and only frame a small percentage, and I never, ever frame one before evaluating it for at least six months. The rest are reworked.

I like to make fast, fresh work that expresses the place or thing more than I do work that's descriptively detailed. I constantly question that course, however, and always try to push myself to achieve more with less. The marks must be effective in communicating something, or not be there at all.

I've been painting solely in pastel since 1986, and painting professionally using various other media since 1979. I also claim a lifelong avocation for drawing, painting, or mark-making of one sort or another.

Deborah

Ruthie57
05-14-2010, 02:45 PM
I've only been using pastels for 2 1/2 years but I know I am getting quicker. I am entirely self taught in pastel technique and I sometimes think I haven't learnt anything. However, when I think about it I know I have because I can produce a painting MUCH quicker than I could even a year ago.
My style has changed a little as I used to copy photos religiously and, while it was never photorealism, I put a lot of detail in. The main thing I did then and don't do so much now was just to put down the pastel strokes and if they didn't look right (which happened often) I would just go over and over until I achieved the effect I wanted.
Now that takes time! I have learnt to avoid this (in most cases) by thinking a bit more carefully about how to proceed and trying to get it right first time!
Having siad all that, the amount of time I spend on a painting depends very much on the subject, how I am approaching it and even what mood I'm in.

sketchZ1ol
05-14-2010, 02:47 PM
hello.
re. your ? - "how long did it take you to get where you are today?"
Ans. - a lifetime, and I'm not done yet.
There's a lady I met who designs wallpapers - an artform with a lot of other artisans alongside, and she's stone cold damn good right off the top and back to them. Still haven't figured out how to compliment her talent.
The other posts are/will be, i'm sure, much more practical.
:} Ed

Elena in Exeter
05-14-2010, 03:47 PM
I have always loved drawing but only picked up pastels last March (2009). I am currently working on a painting that you can look at on my blog if you would like - http://pastel-painter.blogspot.com/ This painting is at about 13 hours. Probably another 8 to go. I have got quicker and it does depend on your particular style. Also if I mess up and have to start again then the hours don't bear thinking about!! As long as you're enjoying it the time flies!

Best wishes

Elena

Potoma
05-14-2010, 03:54 PM
I just did a 4x6 (each) diptych with watercolor underpainting and was done within three hours.

I used to do 8x10 plein airs on Wallis in 1-2 hours, but now I put more into the composition and planning, so it takes much longer.

I have about 10 hours in a 16x20, prepared surface w/acrylic underpainting. Has about 2 to go.

Hence, it varies.

Tatijana
05-14-2010, 04:14 PM
size, complexity, subject matter, objective, style as well as the amount of time one spends painting on a daily basis all are factors.
are you are painting from life or reference photos? inside or outside?....
some people will be consistent, others will not.
my paintings will spend anywhere from an hour or less to several weeks or more on an easel.
peggy is right on about painting being a journey. i find that in most cases it is an interactive one. for me, more often than not, a relationship is formed with the painting/the subject. each relationship is different. i am still learning to be aware when that relationship is at it's height and to start stepping back at that point to assess.


a quote from G. Daniel Massad ( a pastelist whose works are in major museums and collections in the U.S.) about a small show of 10 pastels hosted by a regional art museum -

"Although I should perhaps add that a "small" show is a major step for me: because the dense surface texture I seek requires many layers of minute revision, ten pastels constitute roughly three years of almost full-time work at the easel."

there are no rules
we are all unique
t

Tatijana
05-14-2010, 04:14 PM
size, complexity, subject matter, objective, style as well as the amount of time one spends painting on a daily basis all are factors.
are you are painting from life or reference photos? inside or outside?....
some people will be consistent, others will not.
my paintings will spend anywhere from an hour or less to several weeks or more on an easel.
peggy is right on about painting being a journey. i find that in most cases it is an interactive one. for me, more often than not, a relationship is formed with the painting/the subject. each relationship is different. i am still learning to be aware when that relationship is at it's height and to start stepping back at that point to assess.


a quote from G. Daniel Massad ( a pastelist whose works are in major museums and collections in the U.S.) about a small show of 10 pastels hosted by a regional art museum -

"Although I should perhaps add that a "small" show is a major step for me: because the dense surface texture I seek requires many layers of minute revision, ten pastels constitute roughly three years of almost full-time work at the easel."

there are no rules
we are all unique
t

Tatijana
05-14-2010, 04:16 PM
sorry dont know what i did to make my reply come up twice.
lack of computer savvy is showing
t