Sunday, 30 October 2016

How long does it take to create a watercolour painting? Halloween special 2016

It is a question I hear a lot.  Well, you are in luck as I have just finished a watercolour portrait for Halloween. I have filmed the process so I know exactly how long I took to paint it.  I am going to share that process and information with you today.  The painting took me 6 hours including the initial sketch and time it took to transfer the sketch. If you would prefer to watch the process scroll to the end where you will find a timelapse video to watch.

I started with the sketch. In my sketch book which I then transferred onto Watercolour paper.  I do this because, if I make mistakes and rub out my pencil lines etc this can damage the good paper.  So I do all my sketching and mistakes on my sketch book first. Then trace the finished sketch and transfer it to the 140lb hotpress watercolour paper. I then Sat at my desk put on some inspiring music(without words as I have a tendency to sing otherwise lol)

This is what the painting looked like after the first hour of painting.

After I took a short break it was back to work.  The following picture was taken after a further one hour of work.  So you can see it is not a fast process at all.

After taking another short break it was back to work again.  This time I managed to get her eyes done and some more definition that is not that noticeable in this picture but it is there and took a further hour to do.  

Finally after another short break and hour of painting I finally got to a point I was reasonably happy with the face and was able to move onto the background.

I worked a further hour and a half to finish and define the details on my vampire portrait under the full moon.  For those of you who haven't worked it out yet that meant that it took me about 30 minutes for the sketch and transfer of the image. So adds up to 6 hours from start to finish.  I hope you have enjoyed learning about the reality of how long it actually takes to paint a picture.  

Thank you for reading below find the video link


  1. I loved the video. ( If I couldn't take breaks in between painting I don't know what my work would look like, I envy people who can do it in one sitting, lol )

    1. I have to take breaks, I get all stiff and sore lol and my concentration goes after about an hour. To get the best focus and best work for anything not just art, it is recommended to take even just a 5 minute break every hour or so.