“Why do some pieces take longer than others?” That’s a great question, I’m glad you asked. Recently a friend asked me this question and here are the reasons why pieces take longer or shorter. My pieces take anywhere from a week to several months to complete. Here are the main reasons why a piece takes longer or shorter amounts of time.
This one is probably pretty basic, but the size of the piece determines a lot of how much time a piece takes. A 4”x4” piece I could probably even finish in a day, but a piece that is 6ftx10ft. That could take me a couple of months. Simply for the reason that there is much more surface area to cover in a large piece compared to a small piece. However, there have been times when smaller pieces have taken me longer than large pieces which gets into other reasons why a piece may take longer.
A piece is balanced when it doesn’t feel too weighted in one area, where the focal points make you feel at peace, when there is enough white space and breathing room on the canvas for the colors and shapes to exist. All of these are factors of balance. If when creating a piece one of the many factors of balance is off, then the piece must be corrected and/or painted over. If the piece leaves the viewer feeling like its incomplete, or like something is “just off” the piece is probably unbalanced, and there are a myriad of reasons and factors that could contribute to that. But if a piece is off balance it takes more time to correct.
Many things can cause a warped frame, sudden change in temperature, humidity, improper storing conditions etc. In my case I occasionally have warped frames due to sudden change in temperature (studio thermostat doesn’t work very well :P) Or pieces can get warped in the shipping process due to the sudden changes in temperature from indoors to outdoors for long periods of time. If only I could ship in temperature and humidity control boxes. If a canvas frame warps, it will need to be restretched on new bars with new wood. The restretching process isn’t too complicated, but it’s added time to finishing a piece.
I HATE IT
I’ve been known to paint and paint over and over and over a piece till it’s right. There is no method to this madness except that if I just hate a piece I will paint till I don’t hate it. This can sometimes take many months, as was the case in the piece pictured in this post. This post took me three months to complete, where it would normally take about 3 weeks. I just wasn’t feeling this piece, and therefore it took a long time to finish.
A piece could take a long time to finish if a sudden commission comes in and takes precedent. All commissions take precedent to studio pieces, just my personal policy. I believe in timely commissions. So if something comes up, I’ll put my other pieces on hold.
So that’s it, those are my top five reasons why one piece takes longer than another. Comment below if you have questions or topics you’d like answered about the painting process!