Updated: Sep 21, 2022
This is the most frequently asked question of me, by a long way.
Well, it's a tricky one to answer, because it's different for every painting and I don't fill in a time sheet. For me, each painting just takes as long as it needs….
However, there are always many layers and stages under that perfectly finished surface. Some of these layers are the same for every painting, so I can answer the question by listing each stage below.....
1. The prep stage
The initial coat of size, then two coats of primers, sanding in between, then gesso.
2. The base coat or ground
I often choose a colour for my ground that comes from the opposite side of the colour wheel to what the finished painting will be. For example a red ground for mainly green paintings; an orange ground for blue paintings.
3. The marking out stage
This is where I loosely mark out the key shapes in the composition...this can evolve as I get further into the painting. Sometimes I don't even know what the composition will be so I skip this part and go straight to blocking in.
4. The blocking in layer.
This is where I really get into the colours and shapes - this part os really cool as I aim to make beautiful shapes and combinations of colours to capture a particular place and feeling.
Stages 5 - 10 . These layers can go on and on and on....and include the making it interesting layer, the changing my mind stage, the repainting layer, the finishing touches, the extra detail layer, the fussing around part, the final flourish. I'm always striving to create unique marks, with that special balance of calmness and energy, which reflects the great outdoors. Plus I feel it's really important to make the work have impact from a distance, but intriguing up close.
Final stages 11 - 15!
Then it's the drying, the reviewing again, the touch ups, the edges, the varnishing - as shown above - the signing, the hooks and finally the ‘thank god it’s finished’ stage! Phew!!!
So you see, it’s really hard to answer the question… and its different for every piece.
But one thing is for sure, a painting ALWAYS takes longer than you think 🤷♀️