How Much Time Do You Need to Finish a Painting?

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How much time does it take to finish a painting? That’s a difficult question – but there are ways to finish a painting faster!

Some people enjoy the process of making art and its mindfulness benefits just as much as the moment it goes on the wall. Others enjoy creating art but cannot wait for their painting to be complete. So, how much time does it take for you to finish a painting?

f course, the answer to that questions is also how long is a piece of string? Some realistic paintings with immense amounts of detail will take a long time – years even – while minimalist, abstract or modern art can take as little as a few minutes.

Here we will point out some famous paintings and how long they took, as well as provide top tips to speed up your own painting.

Famous Artists, Paintings and Time

Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel

One of the most famous paintings ever created, Michelangelo’s painting in the Sistine Chapel took many years to complete. It was even made in two different phases. The first phase lasted around four years where he painted the ceiling frescos and the second phase took around six years, involving the painting of The Last Judgement. Even this aspect of the work was then altered years later.

Cy Twombly’s Untitled Painting

(Image Credit: https://houmuse.org/)

Although Cy Twombly’s painting does not have an official title, many have named it, including one of its most common names, Say Goodbye, Catullus, to the Shores of Asia Minor. It is quite surprising that the artist did not come up with a name considering he had 22 years to think of one (the time it took to create this huge painting).

The painting is an allegory depicting Orpheus’s venture in the Underworld and is an incredible 52-feet long. It was finished in 1994, highlighting that it is not just the old masters that take their time with their work.

Morris Katz’s World Record

The world’s fastest painting was created by Morris Katz when he painted a child in the snow in just 30 seconds. Interestingly, it took an additional eight seconds for the painter to frame it. Although this was made a world record in 1998, there are some that will argue others have also been very quick.

Minimalist and abstract paintings may have been just as quick to produce but not publicly known, possibly even Kazimir Malevich’s White on White painting which was oil white paint on a square white canvas.

Top Tips to Finish Your Painting Quicker

If you want to speed up the time it takes for you to create a painting, here are some tips that will help:

– Use acrylic paints instead of oil paints because they dry much quicker and enable you to move on with other parts of the painting instead of waiting for it to dry first.

– Buy brushes of different sizes so you can grab a wider brush when appropriate and make the most of each stroke.

– Reduce the amount of noise and start concentrating your work on the most important aspects of the painting.

– Plan your painting before starting. This will help you to maintain the momentum of the painting and prevent doubts or starting again.

– If you are a beginner painter, start by painting subjects that are less complicated.

Final Thoughts…

There is also an unverified tale of a journalist asking Pablo Picasso to draw him a picture, which he obliged to do in just a few minutes. The story goes that the journalist told Picasso that he would be able to sell this work for thousands even though it only took him minutes.

Picasso then corrected the journalist and said the picture did not take him minutes, but rather, it was the product of decades as an artist.

Art may take seconds or years, but it is something we can all develop and enjoy for a lifetime!

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