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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > May-17 > Recognising the end

Recognising the end

In the penultimate article in his series, Charles Williams advises on how to overcome the desire to carry on when you reach the final stage of your painting


When does a painting come to an end? The end of a painting is always there, in the mind of the painter. Unlike the beginning, the alarming dirtying of the page with all its anxieties and hopes, or the middle, where everything gets complicated and painful, the end of a painting is the only ‘stage’ you really want to see. At that point it’s all over and you can look back and talk about what you did as if you knew all along it would work out. Whereas if you really thought about it you’d remember the sweaty, anxious struggle in which you had little idea of what you were doing or if it would work.

Unless, of course, you did have an idea. But if you are one of those painters, you will have got fed up with my ideas ages ago.


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About The Artist

Follow cover artist Henrietta Graham's example and set yourself a challenging project to create a series of paintings on a particular subject matter, or why not try something different from your usual practice to keep your creativity flowing? Our professional artist/tutors offer plenty of ideas this month, from how to paint loose watercolour landscapes by Lea Nixon, unusual compositions from a high viewpoint by Jo Quigley, and how to use pattern to dramatic effect in your still lifes by Penny German. Hazel Soan demonstrates how to paint a lively self-portrait in watercolour, Glyn Macey shows what you can discover by studying Rauschenberg's work and techniques plus we include articles on understanding the structure of the head and how to measure and see more objectively to help improve your figure work. Oil painters will love Martin Kinnear's new series on oil techniques, starting with the importance of value and chiaroscuro, while Charles Williams takes a thought-provoking look at the age-old issue of 'when is a painting finished?' With more besides, you won't be short of inspiration and helpful advice in this month's issue!