How long does it take to complete a painting?
People ask me this quite often, and the short answer is, it varies.
Pet portraits take the longest by far (and are usually the most intricate and stressful) because they HAVE to look like a particular person’s beloved pet. People who commission pet portraits are paying me to paint THEIR pet, not some poodle that looks sort of like Fluffy. The colors, markings, and expressions have to be spot on, and that takes time. Depending on the size, a pet portrait can take anywhere between 8 and 25 hours.
My wild animal paintings can take just as long, but are much less stressful to create. It’s okay if the duck I paint doesn’t look exactly like the picture I’m referencing, and it’s okay if the markings on that giraffe are not exact. No one will know the difference as long as the painting looks good as a whole. (See how I’m not showing you the picture I worked from for these paintings? That’s because it doesn’t matter!) In fact, I usually take a good bit of creative license with these paintings. It makes it fun and enjoyable. Over all though, I’ve found that birds, amphibians and reptiles take a much shorter amount of time to paint than mammals. When you paint hair by hair, it becomes tedious and incredibly time consuming!
To answer the question, it’s very rare that I work on a painting for more than four or five sittings (at least 3 hours per sitting, often more). I get bored very quickly, and besides the obvious physical challenge, this is part of the reason I choose to work no bigger than 9″x12″. I don’t like to leave a painting unfinished for more than a couple of weeks (because I’m neurotic like that), so working bigger throws me off.
If you have another question about me and/or my art that you’d like me to answer in my blog, please don’t hesitate to contact me and let me know! I love getting to know you guys and want you to get to know me too!