Tuesday, October 14

Do Not Overwork Your Painting!

Autumn House
Acrylic on Canvas Panel
16 x 20 in/40.6 x 50.8 cm
Copyright Byrne Smith 2014
Yikes. I did it again last week. I overworked the painting I was working on for a couple of days.

Not today's image; I painted this one immediately after discarding the overworked painting, so as not to lose confidence. It's like getting back up on the horse that threw you.

I'm not showing the painting I overworked, so you'll just have to take my word for it that it was overworked.

How do you know when you've overworked your painting? Unfortunately, there's no line of demarcation to let you know you've gone too far. That's why it's difficult to know when to stop.

Here are a few tell-tale signs that I'm going, or have already gone, too far. Maybe these signs will help you realize it as well:

- A general overall  feeling of uneasiness about the painting

- Wanting it to be more of a painting than it can possibly be

- Painting over or scraping off perfectly good areas of the painting

- Thinking that adding more detail will help, and then adding totally unnecessary details

- Saying to yourself, "What else does this need?"

- No idea when it will be finished

- Adding just one additional brush stroke to make it perfect

Knowing when to quit is often as important as other aspects of painting, sometimes even more than the planning, composition, color, or value.

Stop it! Do not overwork your painting!

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