Sunday, November 17, 2013

Q is for Quit: Knowing When To ...

Is it done yet? Do I need to do more? This is constant question, both for myself and my students.

When I am asked in a class, I sagely suggest that my students become "a wise cabbage" - one who knows enough to quit while he or she is a head. They all get the idea ... but the question remains. How do you know when it is time to put down the brush or the marker and just call it DONE?

In my classes I tend to see students go in one of two ways - tread too lightly and never really get into the piece for fear of going too far. Or, endlessly add layers of color and lines until the image turns into mud. I wish I knew the answer, how to identify that magic moment when we have done enough - but not too much to bring our ideas from our mind to the page or canvas.

How do you know? Do you have a clue you can share?

The example on the page is a combination of water color paint, sharpie marker and caran d'ache. It was begun outdoors on vacation - a chance to play with color and my travel art kit. I  worked on it for a several hours, and suddenly, I knew I was done. I wish I could tell you how I knew - but I felt without a doubt ... it was time to quit.