How I Prevent Overworking My Art

When I’m painting in my studio I love to have anywhere between 4-10 paintings going at once.  I love to have a selection of pieces to work on, so whenever I start to feel ‘stuck’ on a painting, I’ll just put it back up on the wall and continue with another piece.  I like to have all the works-in-progress hanging on the walls around me, so I can look at them as I paint on one piece.  Its like I’m working on them all at once.  Different styles, different sizes – it all works with my ‘multitasking mind’.

I especially love this way of painting when I have a commission piece I’m working on.  I work mostly with oils, so having a plethera of paintings helps with the dry time of each individual piece. Sometimes I enjoy the wet-on-wet technique, and others I like to wait till it dries to the touch before I add a new oil layer.

Currently, I have 5 large and 2 small canvases that I am painting in oil.  They’re all hanging on the walls around my art desk and I look at them all the time.  Ideas brewing in my head about the colors, the composition, the way the paint will feel when the brush touches the canvas…  I can never stop thinking of painting (not that I want to either:).  I have one piece that is entirely something new that I’ve never done before – its a nude but in a style with intense crazy colors.  I’ve done this with animals, and played with watercolors with this technique before, but never with oils and with a nude woman composition.  Its a small piece, only 6″ x 8″ canvas.  I’m also making another time-lapse video for it.  I’m close to finishing it and when its all complete I’ll share it here.  I think when I work on several canvases at the same time its easier for me to add something completely foreign in the mix because I won’t obsess over it.

Whenever I’m feeling I’m about to ‘overwork’ a painting I just put it down and start back up on another piece.  I always wonder if other artists work the way I do.  I’m only accustomed to the way I work, but love to hear from other artists how they like to work.  Please feel free to leave a comment and share your methods!


About gaylespaintings

I am an Artist and Author of "Thinking Outside the Frame: How Artists Make Actual Money in the Virtual World"
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