How Long Does a Painting Take?

Monique asked: How long does it typically take you to do a painting?

It depends on the medium, and the size of the piece. The watercolors go pretty quickly because watercolors are easiest to use. I can create one of the small pieces in under five minutes and even the largest piece rarely takes more than 20 minutes. Of course, that’s if I’m not using masking fluid to create white space in the finished painting. That stuff needs to set up overnight.

Acrylics take a bit more time because they’re messier and I have to be a little more careful with them. I wouldn’t want to be flinging them around and painting the cats as well as the canvas. LOL Small pieces might take 10 or 15 minutes; my largest acrylic piece took about an hour and a half.

Of course, all this flies out the window when I’m actually trying to make my painting look like something as opposed to just feeling and laying down color. I don’t often do this, because I like instant gratification and I just don’t have a lot of patience.

With encaustics, most of the time I spend is in setting up my work area. Because wax dries faster than anything else I use, those pieces are complete in a few minutes. I might play around with a painting — poking with the iron, or smearing the wax around a little more — but I don’t spend too much time on them because the wax gets muddy and, well, ugly.

For non-paintings (mixed-media, the ceramic art tiles, paper art), I could spend a great deal of time on a project. The tiles take time to prep, then I lay down the colored modeling paste and wait at least a day for them to dry. My large assemblage piece, Demons That Haunt My Days, took about two weeks to complete. Bead art could take days. Paper art really depends on the intricacies. I do some paper weaving, and that takes several hours. Polymer clay creations can also take a few hours, depending on their size the detail.

Of course, the simple answer is… it depends. šŸ™‚