Painting Is Patience

As I work from one illustration to the next, and find myself a little too eager to get to the next, I am reminded that painting is patience, a lesson painting has taught me again and again.

Painting demands that you take time to let the work dry in between layers. It forces you to step back. To step close. To step way back. Pausing for reflection provides insights, ones I might skip over if I rushed on to the next step. Rather than push it along, let it guide you. Let it tell you where the color is settling, where it needs more, when the right moment to continue is. Listen. 

It's like steeping tea. You can't make it steep any faster. And the amount of time you let it steep is directly related to the richness of the flavor. It's a much better cup of tea if you let it take its time. And it's a better painting when it doesn't all bleed together. 

It's probably always a better whatever-it-is when you give it time. Time for its current state to dry so you can properly observe it. Time for the progress to steep so you can see how rich it's become.