Sunday, March 4, 2012

Get-er-done (and save time!)

Some paintings seem to go on "forever"!  I come back to the painting over and over thinking that I will finish this time; but alas, I'm washing out my brushes saying to myself, "the next time I'm finishing!"

In the big picture of making a painting, there are phases.  Some phases go extremely fast and I get very excited that I make that much progress in such a short of these would be in the overall paint coverage of the big areas in a painting at the beginning.  When you are done with this phase, you have large general color areas that completely cover the whole painting...and you don't see the beginning white of the canvas anymore.
But other phases of the painting go on and on.  Generally, this happens for me the smaller objects get and the more detail I have to paint.  I have put away my huge paint brushes and I'm now moving to brushes that are much smaller and have fewer hairs.  When I'm pulling out my "three haired brush", I know I'm in the last phase.

Today, I want to show you a way that I get the "detail" phase to end much faster. When details are overwhelming, I feel like the person who is lost in the woods and is only going in circles instead of actually making progress.  Yep, basically, I'm lost!

Make a list!
Then work your list playing the "cross it off" game.

That's it.

I'm actually doing three paintings at once right now.  All three spreads have the same background room in them...the kitchen.  But how Tiny and Elliot are placed in each of these is different.  So, to save time and preserve accuracy, I decided to make the background of the room as one painting... and paint Tiny and Elliot in their different poses on the other two boards.  Then using technology, I'll sandwich parts of the paintings together to make three complete digital files of the completed painting spreads.

I got the Tiny and Elliot poses almost done, yet there were alot of details I still needed to do.
So, I got a piece of paper, taped it to my board and made a list of things I needed to do to each of them.
(click to enlarge)

I went down my list and completed them...crossing them off one by one.  It became like a game.  I was encouraged because I saw progress happen fast this way and I was moving forward in a plan that had a finish line.  First I did Tiny's details...

...then I did Elliot's.  His details were smaller and more tedious.

I was absolutely amazed at how much my speed picked up (as well as my spirits!).
And....I finished in record time!  Sweet!

A list is a wonderful thing when I feel overwhelmed with details!  It gives me visual progress and it keeps me focused on the pathway to the finish line.