How do we know when an art piece is done? There are times when we just want to keep adding things/details/color…..whatever……because we can and because we are having fun and, maybe, because we are testing ourselves. But when is the piece actually done? Well, in truth, it depends on you and what your intent is.
If you look at Hieronymus Bosch paintings, for example, many are filled with lots of details. “The Garden of Earthly Delights”, below, is just one example.
But if you look at many Eugene Carriere painting, they are simple in composition and color.
A question you can ask yourself is, “what is the least amount I can put in and still have it work?” But to do this, you need to know what you want to evoke at the beginning. Sometimes it will change as you are working, but you need a start. For example, I had an idea for a painting, but as I started working on it, it was more interesting as a somewhat abstract work. It was really, really hard to not continue and I added more and more details until I had to physically walk away from the piece. While it’s cool now, I liked it better when it was more abstract.
I then painted a second painting and included more detail, though not as much as I often do.
It’s up to the painter and the viewer to decide which is more pleasing to look at, and I am often surprised that what I like and think is a better work, a collector will totally overlook.
From my perspective less is more as the viewer will fill in what’s missing and make the artwork more their own. But in the end, it’s up to you and your particular style and personality. Experiment and see what happens. Honestly, not every piece you make will be a success, but every piece should be considered an experiment.