With this piece there was a definite feeling that it was finished. The paint on the Sta-Wet Palette was a combination of too sloppy or sort of crusty, with bits in and therefore, no longer viable. Sometimes I can keep the paint in an ok state for almost 3 weeks, but I did not try all that hard, this time and so it reached this state at about 10 days of sitting and I was sort of glad, because, well, it just nudged me that little bit more to put the brush down and step away from the picture!
The other thing that prompted me to stop was that I actually had a very distinct feeling that if I did another brush stroke it would make things worse and not better. I even did a couple of things and wiped them off again, immediately! Acrylic can be removed like that, if you are quick!
The final sign was that I was starting to nit-pick….when I start to worry about this hair and that eyelash and the detail of the earrings….it’s time to call it quits. It’s easy to lose the freshness and spontaneity of a painting by working and working it….I hope I didn’t do that this time! The desire for photo-realism is still strong in me and I need to remind myself constantly that I am actually aiming more in the area of convincing realism and that something else to do with atmosphere, character and likeness.
My daughter looked at the finished result ~ she’s 13 and a pretty accomplished artist, for her age. She went extremely quiet, even for her, and I could see she was torn and conflicted about what to tell me about this alternate version of herself. This piece of art. Finally she spoke, “Thanks for letting me see it, Mum, I only show MY work to people I trust”. This really means that it yucked her out and that is not how she sees herself, at all! Probably she would rather be portrayed as a mysterious elven girl with a lantern! I will keep it and see what she has to say about it when she is 26 or maybe 39. At her age I would have been super yucked out too! To me, though, she is beautiful!