Knowing When to Continue and When to Stop

When it comes to abstract painting, there is always a challenge for the artist to know when a painting is finished or it still needs additional work. Such is the case with the painting I spoke of in my last post and now titled “Bruised Chaos.” After seeing the painting throughout the day and especially studying the numerous close-up images, I realized it still was not finished.

During the various painting stages, the canvas went through numerous transitions, reflecting my many thoughts and ideas as to interpreting the photograph the painting is based on, though it is not a copy, it is based on the inspirations that I drew from the photograph.


Left: Stage 5 — Right: Completed Painting

With a few more brush strokes of color, the painting now began to bridge better between the soft background and the additional larger color patches were more visible from the distance, something that was so necessary. At one point, one steps back, takes a hard look and say it is time to hold off.

The painting remained a few more days on the easel, which permitted one to analyze the painting, making sure that any additional brushstrokes would only make the painting appear overworked. 

Bruised Chaos, Mixed Medium, 36x36 inches

Now that one has reached the finished line, there are still two more steps before the painting is truly completed and can be signed. Because I used Neupastels and NeuColor II Aquarelle sticks for the line work and accents and because of this, the surface now needed to be secured and protected by using a fixative spray before the painting could receive a coat of 2 to 1 mixture of Golden soft semi-gloss medium gel to unify all the elements and colors.

All photographs taken with an iPhone 5S by
©2015 Egmont van Dyck - All Rights Reserved

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