Many people ask me many questions about what it takes to complete a painting. “What’s in a painting?” I usually answer 35 years of study, 52 years of focus and some paint and a canvas. Some paintings take years to complete as I put on a layer and wait while it dries and review the composition. Some of them I put on a shelf and wait until my memory has faded and then take them out again.
This is one painting I have been working on for years. You’ll notice that the distance is more distinct, the shadows are defined and the cactus in the front is now closer. Tiny changes like this make or break a painting. You’ll also notice that the second rendition has warmer colors. I’m close to finishing this 36 by 40 painting and hope to get it done in the next few weeks.
What’s in a painting? Many times it takes great patience to work and see the differences just a few subtle brush strokes can make. Talk to most artists and they will tell you that 95% of the painting will be complete and the last couple of brush strokes will bring it to life. Some paintings take two hours to paint and some take 200 hours depending on the subject matter and composition. I often do demonstrations where a painting is complete in 45 minutes to an hour. Most of the time the artist will practice the same painting over and over until they know what brush stokes are needed where. Here is an example of one of my 45 minute demonstrations at the Cheyenne Western Spirit Art Show.