Tuesday, November 18, 2008


charcoal and chalk 9 x 12
copyright Jeanette Jobson

I'm calling this portrait done, but have a craving for colour again so I may try my hand at this portrait again or something similar in watercolour or CP on some colourfix paper.

I often wonder what makes me decide that the drawing or painting is completed. Is it when all the information that I see in a reference is replicated as best I can do on paper? Is it when a likeness is achieved through modelling?

There is a point where you can overwork a drawing or painting and turn it into sludge. So when or how do you decide when the last pencil or brush stroke is the final?

For me its a combination of these factors and some intuitive knowledge that its time to stop. Then I put it aside for a few days, not even looking at it, before I take a second assessment. If something catches my eye, I'll adjust it then, spray and its final.

What's your stop point?


sydney said...

Unfortunately, often my stop point is that "Uh oh, I think I just went too far" feeling. As I get closer to finishing, I try to take more frequent breaks. That way I can get a fresher view of my progress.

Robyn said...

Stunning portrait, Jeanette. I think you knew exactly when to stop. The sitter is going to be thrilled to receive this one!

~Gina Cuff said...

Hi Jeanette,

This portrait is amazing! It looks like you could run your fingers through the hair it is so life like!


Jeanette said...

Sydney, I know that feeling as I've done it too! :)

Thanks Robyn. I hope she'll be happy with it. Its always a little breath holding when waiting for a response from someone about their portrait.

Gina, thanks so much.

S.G. Chipman said...

You rocked this one, Jeanette.

My short attention span dictates it for me - a drawing is finished when I just can't bear to work on it any longer :P

Kaly said...

Lovely portrait Jeanette. You always know when to stop, all your work is just perfect, I'm a big fan of all your work.
I ussualy stop before I should, I'm always afraid to ruin it if I go on, I think with time and practise I'l loose my fears(I HOPE)

Jeanette said...

Thanks Steve. I'm happy with the result. Well as happy as any of us are with our own work. :)

Clara, you're so kind, thank you. Knowing when to stop isn't always easy and overworking or underworking is very common. We all have a fear of botching things up so we are too timid or fiddle too much. Its a fine line...

Teresa Mallen said...

Stunning portrait Jeanette. Okay, Robyn has already said it, but it's true!

I usually have a pretty good idea when something is finished. Then I place the work somewhere in my studio so I can look at it from time to time. If there is something that needs to be tweaked, I can see it better once I have taken a bit of a break from the piece.

Usually I have the other situation happening...I'm done but the painting isn't. Probably because cp work is slow and probably because work done in cp looks quite good when it is almost finished. Ah, but if I just press in and punch up those values a bit more - won't take more than a couple of hours right? :-)

Anita said...

This is so lovely - I was stunned by it on the swap. One of these days I might start mine!

Jeanette said...

Thanks Teresea. Its so easy to keep tweaking isn't it? :)

Anita, thank you. I know you'll get yours underway soon and it will be amazing. Your portraits always are.

The Tile Lady said...

It's very, very nice!

Jo Castillo said...

Absolutely wonderful!

I never know when to stop. I usually get tired and stop, then don't want to continue, my lack of patience!

Sheona Hamilton Grant said...

Can't believe I missed this post. What an beautiful portrait...you stopped bang on! Love it:)