A Painstaking Project

I have been having a mini discussion with another artist  Zlatgo Music Art who brought up the fact that some paintings turn into painstaking projects…

He wrote, “Second stage – underpainting and determining focus. Often after this stage painting starts to look almost finished to me. At this point I can assess whether I will be pleased with the final result or if it will turn into a painstaking project of fixing mistakes.”

I can so relate with this “a painstaking project of fixing mistakes”, and I would imagine that so many artists do…it’s always good to know you are not alone. 🙂 So, I’m going to share a painstaking project that I just finished, although I feel that this painting will never be finished, because I can’t stop nitpicking on it…

The Shepherd ©2014 Karin Naylor

18″ x 24″ oil on gessoed panel

I have chronicled this painting on my other blog “a little corner of the artist in me…”, if anyone is interested in seeing the process…

March 3, 2014  http://alittlecorneroftheartistinme.wordpress.com/2014/03/28/the-shepherd-2/

April 4, 2014   http://alittlecorneroftheartistinme.wordpress.com/2014/04/04/progression-of-the-shepherd-painting/

June 28, 2014  http://alittlecorneroftheartistinme.wordpress.com/2014/06/28/still-working-on-the-shepherd/

I’m so thankful for Zlatgo Music that he posted his creative process. Please take a look at his site. I think you will be just as amazed as I am of his talent and perspective.


I would love to hear about some of your painstaking projects, and what you learned from them. I learned that I would not do a large realistic portrait on a gessoed hardboard, because I’m having a hard time getting the varnish to look right. I’m also learning that at some point you have to stop, and that as much as I long to do realistic portraits, maybe I like impressionism better. I’m going to have to rethink this some and find some positive reflections. OK…your turn… 🙂


9 thoughts on “A Painstaking Project

  1. I think this painting is wonderful Karin, but I understand completely. I would love to do realistic portraits, but I just haven’t the talent at this point. Something to work towards right? And maybe, well, making the effort to conquer our weakness… there is something valiant in that no? We could decide to paint only what comes easy for us. But we never do.


    1. Thank you, Sheila. Maybe that is what is so nice about 30 Paintings in 30 Days. It frees you for a time from doing what is hard for us. But in the end like you say we have a drive to go deeper…to challenge ourselves. It’s a good thing! I just need to see it that way. Thanks. 🙂


  2. Karin, I’m not an artist. I would like to be, but won’t take the time at this point in my life to sit down and give it a whirl. But, I love this. I can really appreciate all sorts of artistic works that others do, and I particularly appreciate yours.
    I was just able to catch up on emails this morning, and I wanted to say that when I opened this one, I cried.
    I think there are a myriad of reasons why….

    I love and miss your family.

    John and I like many of the same things, and I have fond memories of the couple of projects we’ve tackled.

    There is an irony of the love care we give to things, and then the practical side of their use for life.

    I feel the love you have for your children, and I especially “get” that.

    It brought to mind the good shepherd and his sheep…

    Anyway, I know you see all the particulars…I understand that, because I do the same thing with all the things I put forth my hands to do. I just know how your work envokes a feeling when I see it, and I believe that is what most artists hope for.

    You have that gift, my friend. ❤️


    1. Paula, now you have me in tears…Thank you so very much for sharing your heart here.

      I understand how this painting would make you feel the way you do, especially knowing John the way you do. You’ve made me realize that I need to step back and look at the whole message of the painting, rather than zeroing in on the technical mistakes.

      I miss you all too… We’ll have to do something about that. 🙂


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