March 1, 2013

Work Expands So As To Fill The Time Available For Its Completion


That is Parkinson's Law.

Ok, not exactly, there's a whole essay that I have not read. Honestly I didn't know the full name of Mr. Parkinson nor how he got to such conclusion or why, but I always pictured it like a fellow sitting on the grass, elbows on his knees, chin on his hands, chewing on a straw while thinking "nah, I don't think that's gonna get finished today".

Yes, my mind likes it simple. And now it's wondering how on earth do you stop work from expanding?! How do you optimize the work to finish the task on time?!


I've been doing portraiture warm-ups in 15 minutes, daily. After switching from monochrome to a limited palette of 4 somehow the task does not just fill the time frame anymore, it overflows it entirely.

Is there a secret to speed up the painting process? Inquiring minds need to know! These have improved after I forgot about my usual layering way of painting and just attacked full on with darks first, in and out, but I still can't get half of a portrait finished in 15 minutes.


If they don't lack the nose they lack one eye, if they have a mouth they don't have a head, some of them manage to have hair and a mouth and a nose but not eyes.

The only other idea I've had, to try and finish one completely, is repeating in my mind "faster faster do it faster fasteeeeeer!" during those 15 minutes, but so far that doesn't seem to work :)


I refuse to put anything better than a "hmmmm...." by their side until they look at least half finished so, any suggestions to speed up the painting process? I promise even if they sound weird I'm willing to try, which are your secrets when you want to paint fast and accurately and finish the task in a short period of time? Please share them with me.

8 comments:

RH Carpenter said...

Oh, dear! I think you are putting too much pressure on to get a full portrait in 15 minutes!!! You are doing great with these - love the redhead and his eye that matches in color :) Just say 1/2 portrait = 15 minutes. A full portrait = 30 minutes. That's still pretty amazing!!!

Teresa Palomar Lois said...

Oh! Maths, didn't think about it that way, I like your moves Rhonda!

Crystal Cook said...

Yes I am SO impressed with what you do in 15 minutes!! I'd still be waiting for my paper to dry after my first thin little wash. But I think you've got the right idea with the lower one, profiles for 15 minutes! Naturally half a face. :)

Teresa Palomar Lois said...

First attempts were layering washes since it's how I use to paint too (turtle me), total fail, those monsters won't see the light of day, EVER.
But OMG I didn't think of sticking to profiles, you may be a genius Crystal, the profile theory hahaha!

Irina Rekhviashvili said...

I think you do impossible work with these faces in 15 minutes. No, I do not have the time receipt. My day time moves so fast I can not understand how it happened that night was already here.

Teresa Palomar Lois said...

I feel your pain Irina, how can the day go by just in a blink of an eye!

frostfyre said...

Perhaps you could hit them from a more graphic perspective? Don't worry too much about edges and instead focus on designing good light & dark shapes... This used to work for me on figure drawings. The result looks finished, yet loose. Since this was a March post, I'd be curious to see if you found another approach!

Teresa Palomar Lois said...

I thought I was doing that already lol, but you have a good point there, maybe I need to push that further, I'll try, thanks for the pointer.

I haven't make it work the way I'd wish yet, I'll make a post in the future with some more of the recent exercises, and how they worked or not.