Another surprising realization in my process and I feel a great relief for realizing it: I will probably never be certain if a piece is completely finished, much less be rid of the feeling that I might need to put more on it, but I now understand what I’ve read in other artists processes… you just have a feeling when to stop painting, even if it doesn’t feel finished. I feel that in this one. If I allowed myself to continue my old practices of overthinking, I would end up adding too much!

In this last volley I added little shadows & outlines in Burnt Umber & Payne’s Grey; highlights in Parchment; and a few more hints of crimson here and there. The uncertainty point arose about what to do next and I started questioning myself. The loudest answer was to paint the outside rims in Mars Black… my usual finishing move. I stood back, and saw that I could add no more to this figure.

Does it feel like the self-portrait I intended? Yes, only far more relaxed than I’ve felt lately. It’s my inner-ideal, my goal state: relaxed on the beach, observing something very intently.

It started with a desire to break my creative block and this sketch…

Onto the next idea… Stay tuned…

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