Jason Morgan, a wildlife artist I follow, recently posted about a drawing that he knew he had more work to do when his wife asked, “Is it finished?”. If she couldn’t tell, it must not be done yet.
Determining when to declare a drawing or painting finished is tricky. It’s so easy to cross the line into an overworked piece that looks stiff and labored. No one can really tell you when you’re done. Some artists will return to a piece months or years later to make changes. Another artist I follow, Andrew Whyte, says that when he signs a painting he never touches it again.
Today I’ve almost finished my portrait of Belle, the Great American Farm Dog. I’ll let it dry for a couple of days, then try to fix a few things I’m not satisfied with, like the “ruff” around her neck. I’ve learned just about everything I can, though, from painting Belle, and I feel like the finish line is just one work session away.