When Is a Painting “Done”?

Kristina WIP 3

Kristina 2010

Reaching the point of being finished in a painting is probably the most important phase of the work. This cannot be measured in the same manner across any style. Some pieces may require more finishing than others. Some pursue a certain freshness that can only be achieved by not overworking a piece.

To me, a work is finished when I have settled all my personal discussions with it. Typically it has gone through the observation phase and passed. There could be some reworking but all questions have been settled. These questions have to do with structure, composition, color, and focus. Experience is what raises these questions in the first place. It is knowledge acquired over time and with experience, the “miles traveled” on the easel.

Kristina CU WIP1

Lilibeth André, Work in Progress 1

Here I have the finished portrait of Kristina 2010. This piece shows two variances to my typical approach. In this painting I painted the light side of the sitter, and I painted from a sitting and close-up view. I am pleased with the likeness and the use of color.

I also began a sketch from a different angle focusing more on the face in the shadow side. Kristina CU, Work In Progress 1, is in the block-in phase. Here I’ve done the preliminary application of color and began correcting the drawing. I will only have one more sitting to complete this portrait. For this reason, I may keep it loser and “unfinished”.

Maine Man WIP2

Maine Man, Work in Progress 2

Studio Night showed progress was also achieved in the portrait of Joe, Maine Man. I made quite a bit of drawing correction in this last session and am more satisfied with the current piece. I am closer to reflecting not just the likeness but a bit of Joe’s personality. This week I will focus on working on the final detailing to give the piece its finishing touches.

I also completed the painting of the old woman I was working on at my studio. It is currently in the observation phase while I raise and settle my discussions with the piece.

St. Francis Art Show 2010

I’ll be participating for the first time in the St. Francis Art Show. This is a juried event. The show takes place January, Saturday 30, and Sunday 31.

St. Francis Episcopal Day School  is located at:

335 Piney Point
Houston, Texs

Saturday hours are 4 to 9pm.

Sunday hours are 11am to 3pm.

I will be there with several landscapes, figures and still lifes. One of my teachers and some artist friends will be exhibiting as well.

Work Progress in January 2010

I am indeed back in the swing of things as I mentioned in my past post. I hope that you are too and that things are swiftly going your way.

Kristina WIP2

Lilibeth André, Kristina 2010, Work in Progress 2.

First, I begin by sharing my work in progress for Kristina 2010.  I met Kristina about a year ago when she posed for our class. An experienced mode, she is good and has worked with group sittings.  She is a willing subject and does a great job, despite her sniffles this week which didn’t affect her work.

You’ll see progress defining features. I fine tuned some areas to get a better likeness. I also did more of the background fill. This portrait is still not there yet but I’m feeling comfortable with likeness and the color. Maybe I will get there this week.

As part of studio night, we began to paint an old classmate. He is a wonderful model. No wiggles, not wanting to be entertained by us with conversation, and he maintains the pose in an excellent fashion.

This is the Markos Group. We are old buddies. We lost one of our members last year actually but we continue to work together although we miss him. He would say to keep working. We do.

We share a portrait model and spend Thurday night with nice music, sometimes sweets, coffee or wine. We paint away for three hours. I typically focus on the face. Sometimes we may splurge and hire a figure model. We catch up on the breaks and share our adventures with the brush, sometimes more like published work or certain sales that come with a story. We admire each other’s work. We tell a few jokes. Then, it’s back to our liaison with the brush and our canvas.

Maine Man WIP 1

Lilibeth André, Maine Man WIP 1.

Typically, we do three sittings with the model but have done two or one, depending on their availability. These are all people from our community. They are not professionals. The goal is to exercise at the easel with the brush. And this being Houston, we have had the pleasure of painting a variety of people from various ethnic and age groups.

And to close, I share with you part of my studio work. I have this work in progress. It is for my Mexico series and it is my second attempt with this old woman. In the first, I was including some of her finished work around her.

LA at Studio WIP 011710

Lilibeth André at studio with WIP 1

I looked at the canvas for a few days. After observing the preliminary drawing and block-in, I wasn’t pleased. I felt that what I was after was reflecting her love of embroidery. I wanted to bring that out along with her focus, her peaceful concentration, the beauty of her features and color. So I flipped the board and focused on her. Here I am with the new block-in as I prepare to correct the drawing.

Are You Rusty After A Holiday Break?

Returning to the weekday routine after the holidays is like putting on an old pair of shoes.  It fits like a glove. Things start falling into place and you start to get comfortable with the idea that you are back into the everyday routine of things.

WIP Kristina 10

Lilibeth André, Work in Progress-January 2010.

For me, that includes my weekly class with William Kalwick. I have known Bill for about 15 years. I took a couple of his workshops and attended some of his demos over the years but hadn’t been able to get into his class. I’m glad I finally was able to join the group and as I approach the two-year anniversary I can enjoy what I have learned, starting with the first day of class.

What I like about working with Bill is that he is not looking to create a clone. He provides technical guidance and allows one to flourish in independent style. He is a confident artist that finds great things in everyone’s work while understanding where everyone needs to stretch. He helps to take you there.

I have a sample of my current class work in progress. We painted this model about a year ago. I focused on the face and worked on getting the form and preliminary color down.

New Year – New Work in Progress

WIP Pequena Oaxaquena

Work in Progress by Lilibeth André, Pequeña Oaxaqueña

On my last trip I visited Oaxaca, Mexico. I was captivated by the colonial town. The main square and sidewalk cafes around the kiosko reminded me of my old hometown where I walked along the winding streets, my small hand holding mother’s protective hand.

The people of this province community are friendly. Life is calm. The beautiful faces and native garb made my eyes dance. Their image invited me to follow them with pencil and brush.

On one of my many walks I came across a young girl with her woven huipil and flowing skirt. She walked ahead of me with a joyful bounce between sunshine and the shade of the African hibiscus tree.

As the old year ends and the new begins, I recall the visit painting my memory of Pequeña Oaxaqueña, a 16×12, oil painting on canvas board.

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    © Lilibeth André and Art by Lilibeth André, 2009-2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this text, images or content without express and written permission Lilibeth André is strictly prohibited. For permission to license, exhibit or purchase any of the artwork, email info@lilibethandre.com. Links to this site may be made with full and clear accreditation to Lilibeth André and Art by Lilibeth André.