Shoot it, Sketch it: Paradise

Paradise in Golden Bay – acrylic on board, 250 x 320 mm, 2012
Bird of Paradise, 2011

I had a lot of fun painting this week’s Shoot it, Sketch it. It’s one that I’ve been meaning to do for almost a year (ever since I took the photo last Christmas). My only real problem was deciding when it was finished. Even now, I’m still not entirely sure that it is — but there comes a point when you simply have to walk away and start the next project…

This is what the painting looked like at various stages. I kept telling myself: just a little darker here, a bit lighter there… How CAN you tell when something is finished?

Follow the links to see other Shoot it, Sketch it offerings from Clouds of Colour, The Little Leaf, Lunch Sketch and Poppytump.

9 thoughts on “Shoot it, Sketch it: Paradise

  1. Ahh I can totally relate to that feeling of not knowing if your work is finished or not.. Usually once I think it’s finished, it is. I just give myself some space from it then come back to see what I think. Although at the moment, I do have a massive unfinished painting that I need to get to. Arguably it is finished (and I thought it was at one point, but something always niggled at me that it wasn’t quite right), but now I want to add a whole new subject into it. Hah, sorry for the ramble. I think your piece looks good though – I say finished!

  2. 🙂 Gorgeous ! I love the way you have shown the stages of painting too right to the Finished piece !!! .. *thinks* might do that myself another time as I do wonder how I got to an end sometimes 😉
    Hoping to post later – thanks for the mention Anna

  3. This is a very lovely acrylic. The varied textures and paint handling add an extra level of interest to what is already a strong composition.

    As for when a piece is finished… to determine this, it helps to remind yourself what your aim was for the painting. If you didn’t have a clear aim in the beginning, it’s never to late to determine one. Were you hoping to convey a particular mood? Make a realistic copy of a photo? Create a pleasing contrast of colors or patterns?

    A single work can have many goals, but it helps to keep them all prioritized in your mind. Then, once you’re acheived them (or struck a satisfying balance between them all) you are done. This can take a few hours or a few months. But at some point you have to say, “I’ve taken this as far as I can. I’ve learned all this painting has to teach me.” That’s when you sign it and *move on*.

    P.S. This piece looks like it is at the perfect stage of “doneness”. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Gabriel. I haven’t felt the need to rework it since I posted it, so I’d say it’s ‘done’ too. My aim was to experiment with colour and texture and to celebrate the exotic in my own backyard (so to speak). And yes, I would say I have learned all this painting has to teach me – that’s a great way to think about it. Thanks for the encouragement.

      By the way, I really like your new profile pic : )

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