Here’s something interesting – guess which of these two turtles took longer to paint…
About 20 minutes
Both turtles begin with a one minute sketch. When I’m painting naturalistic from photo references I’m thinking: “Light here, dark there, it’s shaped something like this… That brush mark looks like…” and the form just happens. I use fewer colours when painting this way because a lot of the blending takes place on the wall. This turtle was rendered with 4 colours.
About 40 minutes
For simple shapes I really have to slow down. The shapes have to be crisp because the slightest wobble will show. I have to be aware about the directionality of the brush strokes when filling in shapes. For solid colours that do not show the brush stokes, 2-3 coats are required, therefore it takes 2-3 times as long. This turtle was rendered with 7 colours.