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How long does it take me to create a painting?

It’s 6am on a Friday morning, dark outside and I can hear the faint drops of rain on the window. The stillness of the morning, my great big dog laying next to me quietly relaxed and I have a hundred ideas going around my head. One idea, in particular, relates to a stag watercolour painting.  I have two paintings on the go at the moment. One is with crazy chickens jumping on a bed, and the other is a beautiful stag watercolour. (well I think stags are beautiful animals.)

It is at this moment of painting that I feel my most vulnerable. Watercolour and especially inks are unforgiving. Make a wrong turn with the brush or lay the wrong colour down and it is hard, so hard to correct the mistake. Both of these paintings are at that stage in the game right now. The stag watercolour painting in particular is far too dark, and what is annoying me most is that it did look really good as a pen drawing and I am now wondering if I should have left it that way. Hover over the image below and see the before and after. It’s not finished, and fingers crossed it won’t end up in the bin but time will tell.

The battle of watercolour

One of the watercolour cockerels looks more like a weird looking peacock.  As I work on trying to cover my mistakes I feel I have made it look worse. It can be hard to put down on paper what beautiful images and ideas I can see in my head. To create something from nothing sometimes is not far short of a miracle.

How long does it take for me to create a painting?

Someone asked me this question recently. My answer, does it have to include the number of years it has taken me to get to this stage? The learning, the mistakes, the learning to correct the mistakes? The self-doubt, the hours spent giving up and then finding the courage to try again?

We live in a world today of instant gratification. If we want something, we can have it straight away. Order something on Amazon, get it the next day. Watch the t.v. series, and can have the whole lot in an instant.


It takes days, maybe even weeks to do a painting. The inspiration, the idea, the research, never mind the initial sketch. It doesn’t include the mistakes and starting over. The examples here and in particular the stag watercolour painting is a great example.  I suppose it’s a bit like love or relationships, for something to be of value it doesn’t happen in an instant but has to be developed over time.  Who knows, these paintings may end up in the bin, but if so I will just start over and learn once again from my mistakes.

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