Someone recently asked me how long it takes me to complete a painting. Every artist has heard this question and has their own response, the most realistic being “it took as long as it took.”

For me, I would guesstimate it takes me about two months from “first paint on the paper” to “signature”. Sometimes even longer depending on how the painting goes. The initial parts of the process are pretty quick; it’s the critiques and small changes that take all the time.

Today was a rainy, stormy day so I wasn’t very active as far as getting outside the house, but I did spend some quality painting time with three of my recent paintings.

geeseTuesday I started this painting, tentatively titled “Twilight Flight”. Here it is with the masking off, the black wing feather defined, the beaks started,  and some preliminary shading on the body. It has just been calling “paint me” all week.

I think that once I get the remaining details on the geese done, I’m going to have to make a decision about the background. I love it, but I don’t think it’s going to work as undefined as it currently is.

My original idea was to have the orange part be trees like in the reference photo, but I liked it so much with just the initial wash I thought I could skip that step. I don’t think so. I think a little more suggestion will be needed.

swansI also worked a little on “Follow the Leader” but all I really got in was the feed and five of the six beaks (I need to find the other beak…) Like “Twilight Flight” this will need shadowing on the swans, and more definition on the background. Also, looking at it, I’m going to have to think of something clever to do with the water placement.

ospreyFinally I worked a little more on “Mine” an osprey painted from a reference photo of a Sauvie Island osprey I took last summer (not the osprey I saw last week in Canemah).

I need to emphasize the fish, add some tallons, adjust the eyes, and add some shadows. Then I’m going to have to figure out if the post needs more work.

This is only three of the eleven paintings I have going right now (not including ice painting backgrounds, sketches, or other ideas).

I’d like to promise I won’t start anything else until I finish these… but I hate to lie.