Florida Everglades Painting, Finishing a Painting

I’m still working on the color strategy and building the forms and will do this until they come into balance and make sense on the canvas. I won’t worry about getting an exact representation of the scene any more because I have a sense of the place. I'm not doing a portrait but will want you to know the character of the main palm before I'm through. As I work I identify with the subject(s) more and more closely, and by the time I’m done most of the forms will be as familiar to me as my family. At his point I have added lights and darks three times and there's beginning to be a sense of volume to the forms, and of light coming in. I've also added some clouds and color to the sky. I still have a way to go before I'm satisfied.

Knowing when a painting is finished is the most difficult part of the process. It's only finished when the creating artist decides it's finished! Some artists will consider a painting finished when there is still some of the canvas showing—leaving bits of white or undercoat to contribute to the whole. Some artists start in one corner and work directionally and will never again touch the laid-down bits. When the canvas is covered, they’re done. Some artists work over the canvas surface again and again struggling to bring their artistic vision into form until the canvas contains even a piece of the artist’s heart. But in the end each artist must find a combination of methods and visions that work for them, laying down the brush only when confronted with a satisfying whole.

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