I finished one of the sorority houses at Mississippi State today. I have two others that are currently in different stages of progress.
After I finish a painting it usually looks so simple to me. And if I were to paint the exact same thing again it actually would go much faster. This is because it's the decision-making process behind the work that takes so long.
It's sort of like putting a puzzle together. Once the puzzle is complete you're all, "Oh that wasn't so hard." And if you were to work the puzzle again, you'd be able to go much faster the second time around.
Deciding exactly what's needed and what's not to turn a three-dimensional object into clean lines and bright colors on a flat sheet of paper takes careful thought. I look for big shapes first and sort of get those going. Then I work on what I consider second most important in making the building recognizable- windows and doors. Smaller details come next. Not everything is included. This is partly because my work is fairly small and there's just not room for everything and partly because that's just my style of painting.
The landscaping around a building is probably what I gloss over the most. The added pops of blue, green, and yellow hues are a definite must, but I don't feel the need to really paint the foliage out in all its glory. The bushes, trees, plants... they're all just playing supporting roles, and I don't want them to take away from the main focus.
_Ultimately, my goal for each piece is to portray a recognizable place or object in a fun, cheery way. I like my paintings to look "happy." And even though I could concentrate on every detail and make some super realistic looking paintings...
that's just not what I'm into right now. At the moment I'm more of a "hey yo, this is a painting, not a photograph" type artist. And I think that's OK too.