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How to know when your painting is DONE

Aug 23, 2023 | Blog, Julie's Weekly

“…no one can tell you when the painting is done, it’s between you and the painting to sort that out.”
~ David Langevin – Mastrius Master Artist & Mentor

This question has plagued artists for generations! If you’re an artist who’s struggling with it, hang in there! One day you WILL have your answer.

PRO TIP: Practice the art of slowing down.

Just like a game of chess may begin with quick, confident moves, near the end there are many long thoughtful pauses and methodical decisions.

I always start a painting with a big brush, lots of paint, and fast (and fun!) brushstrokes but I’ve learned to slow down as I progress through a piece.

When you sense a painting is near completion, it’s a good idea to spend more time stepping back & looking than actually painting.

Spend time thoughtfully observing your painting from a distance.

Listen to your gut and make ONLY SMALL adjustments, then step back again… rinse and repeat!

There are many things to consider as you learn how to avoid overpainting your work, but nothing substitutes for time and practice.

Want to speed things up?

Then benefit from the time and practice of artists who’ve walked the road before you.

This is the role of a mentor, to speed up your journey, so you can stop learning the hard way – through trial and error, on your own.

Here’s a painting by David Langevin. Note the subtle yet powerful adjustments he made in his finishing touches.

From great (left) to MASTERFUL (right)!

It’s time for you to take your next step.
You are worth investing in!

In team with you,
Julie deBoer

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