Finally stopping at the right time

This is not a painting that tops the chart for me in looks, but it is a painting that feels very much like a breakthrough:

I’ve been writing about it a lot over the last months (and years, probably), but I haven’t quite managed it before now.

I’m talking about the need to plan a painting before starting out, and to keep the style loose and stop working on it at the right time.

This is a painting where I finally felt that I’d ticked all those boxes.

Because I actually sat down, not rushing, to work on the pencil marks before starting out.

I then started thinking about what colours I wanted to use, and how I wanted to apply them in regards of different layers.

I then followed the plan, and (just barely) managed to stop painting the moment I felt that I didn’t have any more features to add.

The result was very pleasing to me, because there’s such a big difference in the style of this painting compared to recent ones I’ve made.

Like these ones, where I just completely overworked them:

Yes, the boats look a bit off in the new painting.

The man walking on the beach looks a bit unnatural.

The houses are all looking a bit crooked.

However, this is my first painting of 2020, and I feel that I’ve started off just as I wanted to by thinking quality instead of quantity.

Now I just need to keep on doing it, and work on the details to make the end result look better.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to stay on the right track ๐Ÿ™‚

23 thoughts on “Finally stopping at the right time

  1. Looking great! It’s always exciting and rewarding when we feel ourselves learning — and following through on what we’re learning. Knowing when to put the brushes down is definitely a very difficult lesson to learn. So, pat yourself on the back for having taken that lesson to heart.

    1. Thank you, Judith ๐Ÿ™‚ It was a very exhilarating moment, following a period of failure after failure in my watercolour painting.a I think a lot has to do with the lack of planning and oversight, though. I hope I’ve managed to crack a code here ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. I’m been reading a lot lately about “planning” while we paint, and how we should stop after each brushstroke and ask ourselves what the painting needs next. Geesh! I’m not at that point yet. I don’t know what my paintings need next LOL. I just dab paint on until I think it looks right. So, I think there’s a fine line between having a plan and going too far with it. I know that it’s good to have an idea in mind and to have some idea of how I want to execute it. Hopefully I’ll get to the point where I can be a little more sure of myself and what I’m doing. Your watercolors are really looking good, so, yes, I think you are cracking some code. ๐Ÿ™‚

      2. I do appreciate you saying that โ˜บ It is a very fine line, indeed. I try to step away from the painting from time to time, to get out of the details and see the whole picture. That often helps when deciding what it needs next. It’s hard to remember it, though โ˜บ And there should always be room for playing a bit around โ˜บ

  2. The more I paint for the pleasure of painting (as opposed to my commission work) the more I realize that the outcome is not as important as the feeling I have while painting: being totally absorbed in the moment, forgetting about everything except the strokes of paint on paper or canvas. In that respect, there are no failures. Painting is perfect therapy!

    1. I do agree, Louise. That feeling I get while painting (placid ;)) is certainly the most rewarding of all โ˜บ However, I need to keep reaching for better outcomes. Because the feeling of progress is also quite nice. I know it’s a bit harsh calling ยซdisappointing sessionsยป failures, but it felt like it at the time. I do learn a lot from them, though, and the therapy of painting is still there โ˜บ

  3. Looks good, Kim! You are going to develop a unique style and the other paintings you display here have been necessary for this path. Others need hundreds and hundreds of paintings to find their unique kind of painting. Painting should always be a pleasure at least if we donยดt have to make our living with it. By the way: I like the Phnom Phen street painting, too. Congrats for your success!

    1. Thank you so much, Cartsen! That means a lot coming from you, as your work probably is one of the main reasons I wanted to get into watercolour painting in the first place ๐Ÿ™‚ I feel like I’ve been seaching in the dark for four years now trying to find my own style, but in 2020 I’m starting to find the mediums and themes I want to spend my time on. I also feel there’s a style emerging, which was an exhilarating feeling, I must admit ๐Ÿ™‚ (Btw: I hated the Phnom Phen painting, but now I have to take another look :D).

    1. Thank you, Tiffany ๐Ÿ™‚ You are definitely right about that! I do enjoy the process, I just need to be a bit critical as well ๐Ÿ˜‰ That’s what makes it fun. There is always something to reach for ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you so much, Beate. And thank you for the nomination for the Sunshine Blogger Award. I must admit that I’ve never heard of it before, but I’ll be sure to check it out. I didn’t catch my name being on the list when I checked out the post ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m very glad you find my blog worth the read ๐Ÿ™‚ Congratulations on the nomination for you as well!

  4. Yep, Placid painting is what we need. Time to look, time to consider. Time to paint and time to reconsider I have just returned from a life session and the onus is on speed, speed, speed. I feel like someone has plugged me into the mains. I need to slow down, not speed up.

    1. I know what you mean! It has basically taken me four years just to start thinking of a basic plan before I get going. Taking a step away from the painting from time to time is also really hard when you’re in the zone. Anyway, I guess “going fast slowly” is the way to do it. At least I find my results gaining from it so far ๐Ÿ™‚

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