What number of artworks would you say you are dealing with?

 It seems as though a couple of specialists here are creating numerous canvases or studies each day. How hard would you say you are driving yourself? Do you zero in on just a single picture until your finished with it, or do you like to chip away at a few examinations all at once? I for one can deal with a solitary picture since I feel pretty depleted subsequent to working four to six hours. I spent around five hours on this one however needed to stop because of the deficiency of daylight. I guess I'll continue work on it tomorrow ideally. It actually needs a couple of subtleties.


  • zanewiller

    Welcome to the Forum.

    Yep. As a casual hobby oil painter I work on one painting panel at a time.

    I do go to regular life drawing sessions and end up each session with a dozen 2min, 10min and 20min sketches that I often photograph and continue work on them using my iPad and Procreate.

    From time to time I also play around with sketches and layouts for new images. For example large abstract nude studies using window washing squeegees. This is about experimenting with materials and tools to get the best effects.

  • Hi @zanewiller, I think a lot of people find themselves in your situation from time to time.

    I normally have one, possibly 2 on the go at one time. 
     At this  point in time, I am pushing myself to get a lot of birthday gifts, wedding gifts etc... done and have 6 on the go at the one time.    Some are hardening before I do another layer, some I have set aside for something I need to finish in a hurry.
    It is keeping me honest that is for certain as it seems I have no time for any life at all.  I am even missing out on the wonderfully sunny autumn weather we have been experiencing of late!
  • Welcome to the forum @zanewiller
    I work on one at a time.  The take about four to six weeks to complete.  But I work about 1 1/2 hours four days a week and then four hours on Saturday and four on Sunday.  It’s not a fixed schedule.  Stuff comes up but those are my typical working hours.  
    I like to work on one painting at a time.  While painting I correct things as I go.  If I see something that’s not right I fix it then before moving on.  Sometimes I feel that painting is just a process of making corrections.
  • Welcome to the forum, @zanewiller.

    I can only work on one at a time. Like @GTO, I fix things as I go - I can't leave something that's wrong once I've noticed it - I have to adjust it before moving on because I feel it throws other parts out of whack and it distracts me. One of the reasons I like oil paints, as opposed to watercolor, is that you can make endless corrections and just keep eliminating errors until it's right. You can't do that with some other mediums.

    I'm retired so I paint all the time. To me a painting is a complex jumble of problems to be solved. But I'm not a multi-tasker when it comes to painting.  I need to give focus entirely to the painting in front of me and I don't feel I could do that if I had more than one going at the same time. 
  • edited April 21
    Hi and welcome @zanewiller,

    I generally work on one piece at a time but sometimes have 2 paintings on the go. I find its nice to break off from one that I have become so in involved and change gears a bit to work on another.

    I tend to paint at weekends or, like this week, when I have time off work.
  • Just one at a time, I don't have much available free time to dedicate to painting so it would be worse it I was working on multiple paintings!
  • My work is intense, I don't have enough time for painting. One at a time is sufficient.
    I had a friend who was a professional artist who would travel to the Australian outback and set up multiple canvases outdoors - 6-10. He would paint all the skies and scenes together and then individualise each one. He made a good living - he was based in Bendigo Victoria for the Aussies.
  • edited April 25
    Ah, Bendigo. Not far from my home town. I might move back to the area if it gets too cold for me in Tassie. But the summers there are awfully hot!

    Six to ten on the go at once!  Paint all the skies ...  Sounds more like mass production; more like an assembly line than art. But I guess everyone has their own way of working. I hope that when he "individualized" them they each looked unique and took on an aura of authenticity. Is he still painting, @Abstraction?
  • One at a time. :)

    I used to crochet and knit and most people in that community have a pile of works in progress.

    I determined not to have that stress for my painting life.
  • Great question and welcome @zanewiller!,
    What an awesome forum, where else would you get artists of this caliper all in one place to answer such a basic and direct question! Whilst I am not at the same level as the others whom have responded, (which I am hopeful is a short term self-evaluation), I see so many problems in the course of doing a painting that one at a time is all I can handle at present. But I still enjoy it immensely. 
  • PaulBPaulB mod
    I feel I need to weigh in with a different answer.

    I have 30 started but unfinished paintings. I know I will not finish about half of them, and I will discard or paint over those. The rest have a good shot at being finished, framed and shown.

    When I start a painting, it's a race to get to a point where some small part of it is in a finished state. It only has to be a square inch or so. If I can do that, I find it motivates me to complete it quickly. There's something about being satisfied early on that draws me in to focus on finishing. Here's an example.

    Once I got that dessicated rose rendered, I felt good about it and the painting was completed rapidly. If I do a general block-in, I get overwhelmed by the thousands of refinements and corrections before me. Here's an example.

    Now I will finish this one, because I am determined, but I find it very hard to approach it because every single aspect needs major refinement. This is what causes me to have so many unfinished works in progress.

    Short version: I need early success in a painting to stop myself getting bogged down. I can recover, but I'm drawn more to finish the ones that are already going well. And so they pile up.
  • Oh dear Paul! Sounds like you need to adopt Rob's one square of a grid at a timer approach?
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