The series secret
A secret that experienced artists often tell you, is to work on more than one painting at a time, that way when you get tired of working on one, you can find renewed energy with the next one.
As someone who was working on one painting at a time, I thought I’d try this out to try and increase my productivity.
When this method scuppers your flow
This seemed to work quite well, having 3 on the go, until I found that they all felt insurmountably difficult at the same time and I didn’t want to do any of them!
The messy middle
What I realised was, that I was in the messy middle of all three paintings at the same time and was feeling like a bit of a failure. How could I do this painting thing if all 3 were looking hideous?
The curse of variety
The second thing I realised was that a lot of people who suggest working on multiples at a time, tend to choose things that are closely related. For example, seascapes, or still lifes, or very similar subject matters. And although my paintings were all tropical landscapes with houses, some were with pools, some were of the sea and some were more abstract. What I had done was start three very different paintings.
What I decided to do, then, was to concentrate solely on one, and get that past the messy middle.
Beginning, middle & end
I then did the same with another, and started a couple more. That way they were all at different stages and not stuck in that concentrate-y middle part. This way, I had paintings that were at the beginning stage (super fun), middle (messy) and end (pleasingly done).
I decided not to make them all similar in subject, mainly because I’m still trying to work out which ones I like painting best, which ones are popular, and still be able to explore around the subject.
Test of time
So far this tactic seems to be working and I’m feeling more confident with my process. When I get more feedback (internally - from what I like, and externally - from what other people like), I may decide to adjust this a little.