Completing your artwork - "Is it finished?"

"Art is never finished, only abandoned”
Leonardo da Vinci

Although I agree with this concept, I do think we need to know when to “abandon” our artworks and call them “finished”.

I myself am often guilty of overworking paintings. I can become carried away by the process and don't stand back from my work when I should. This can result in too much detail, loosing the sense of spontaneity and expression.

There are three things I use to help me decide when a painting is “complete” :-

Firstly, I was once given this advice....

When you think your work is NEARLY finished, then it is most probably finished” …

This advice is invaluable, when you think your work is looking good and nearly finished LEAVE it to one side for a day or so. When you go back to it with fresh eyes, you will see it quite differently. You may immediately like what you see and confirm to leave it “finished”, or see an area that needs more work or correction.

Secondly, take photographs of your work. Looking through a viewfinder and at your work on the computer really shows up mistakes in your composition if there are any. A quick photo with your smartphone can help you decide if your work is complete.

Thirdly, always have a selection of pre-cut mounts in a variety of colours and sizes. Simply placing a mount around your work can make a huge difference to how it looks.

Don't forget that less can most definitely be more, you can always add to it later!

How do you decide when to leave your work, have you your own tips to recommend? Let us know in the comments below.

Many years to complete...


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