Yes! You did read it correctly. It was Titian who is supposed to have said that if you leave a painting, face to the wall for long enough, it will paint itself! Now I know what he meant and I’m happy to let you into the secret. The most difficult part of any painting is knowing exactly when it’s finished.
The danger is that if you carry on working it until you think it is finished, then look at it a week later, you start to notice all the faults. Very often, it has been ‘over worked’ and has lost much of its initial vitality and excitement. The act of leaving it for a while, won’t prevent the overworking, but will tell you what areas need attention and how to resolve the issues.
This is what Titian had noticed, so he would leave works to stand, while he gathered more thoughts on how to proceed to their conclusion. In a similar way, I have in the past, been tempted to take photos too soon, publish them on my Facebook Page and a few days later, all the faults and problems begin to emerge. How annoying can that be? So here’s the moral of the story:
When a painting is nearing its conclusion – leave it for a few days or longer – When you return to it you ‘should’ know exactly how to finish it.
Not quite up to Titian’s standard, here is one of my own acrylic paintings, a portrait of the american Jazz Pianist, Oscar Peterson.
I painted this in my studio using old black and white photographs as reference material. I hope you like it.
If you could choose a portrait of an interesting or well known person, Q who would you choose?
I’d like to know your thoughts.