Understanding the “Awkward Phase” of a Painting and Getting Past It

Posted by & filed under Acrylic Painting, Adventure, Paint & Sip.

11931249_500270306799703_1333060152_nHere are some pictures of the progression of a painting from start to finish. We tell everyone that first you’re loading on the paint. This can take a while (and a lot of paint), but it’s the foundation of the painting so you want to make sure you get enough on so you’re not seeing canvas peeking through.

Next the painting goes through what we call the “awkward phase” – which is where in some cases it looks like a hot mess and you start to notice all kinds of flaws with it that you want to fix. Don’t worry – pretty much all acrylic paintings go through this “awkward phase” where we think it might be time to start over. But then we push on and start to realize what we can do to get it to the finish line. This is where our artists step in to give you a pep talk and maybe show you some new technique to apply.

With this painting – if you look at the “awkward phase” picture and then the finished picture, I actually painted over some of my white circles after deciding I had put too many in. I then tried putting straight lines in for the stems and immediately regretted it. So let it dry and painted over that fiasco. I wasn’t sure what to do with all the blank space on the bottom and what to do about making them look like flowers not just floating bubbles so I played around with the green and finally came to the decision of putting in loose stalks of grass & stems that weren’t specific to any flower.

Oversized Canvas Flowers 2But it still wasn’t out of the “awkward phase” yet – it still needed something. The circles were still just sortof floating on a bed of grass. So I went to my favorite go-to – I watered my paints down and splattered them onto the canvas. I even have the fine mist of paint colors on my shoes to prove it (didn’t realize I was doing that until it was too late). There’s also a mist of colors on the studio floor. Good thing I was at the studio not my house! While you may not be able to see the splatter very well in the photo (last one), up close it really pulls everything together to a finished canvas. If you’re in the studio and can’t see how to get your painting through the “awkward phase” just ask us – we’ll help you and once you’ve gotten your painting through that “awkward phase”, you have something really wonderful and unique to take home or give as a gift.

Some people ask us how long it takes to paint one of these big canvases (this is a 4’x6′ canvas). When you’re painting in our studio, you’re usually choosing between an 11×14″ (a little more than 1’x1′) or a 16×20″ (a little less than 2’x2′). So it takes about 24 of the 11x14s or six of the 16x20s to equal one 4’x6′ canvas. It Oversized Canvas Flowersmay not always take 24 times the time of an 11×14 (which would be about 48 hours), but it’s fair to say these usually take us six times as long as the 16x20s (about 18-20 hours total for something abstract or up to about 40 hours for something with detail) to paint the large canvases. So when you go to an art festival and you’re seeing large canvases for hundreds of dollars – keep in mind that in addition to all the paint and the cost of the canvas, they may have put in a full week’s work – so add a week’s salary to paint and canvas cost and you’re talking about at least a few hundred, if they’re really good at what they do expect to pay nearly $1000 or more.

So if you’re looking for some unique Christmas gifts come paint with us. For just $30 you can paint a 16×20″ gift canvas that would cost much, much more if you were to pay a professional artists. Check out our calendar for when to schedule your paint party and finish your Christmas gift shopping while you enjoy a nice bottle of wine and some relaxing painting! Call 251-343-2423 for reservations.

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