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It’s going to be hard to try and not be so much of a “perfectionist” but I successfully managed it with my “Pete N Puss” painting last time, and that’s my goal – to capture a great likeness but to also keep the pieces looking less photographic and more “painty”.

On a few occasions at art fairs recently, people have glanced at my work and walked by but as I’ve began talking to them they’ve suddenly realised and said things like “oh these are paintings?” or “oh did you actually do these yourself?” which is very complimentary but has inspired me now to purposely roughen them up a bit (except for the main subject of the piece, usually the face, which I still want perfect so it leaps off the canvas).

Here is an example of how in previous years I’ve spent lots of time making hands smooth and as close to the photo as I could, compared with the latest piece where I successfully forced myself to keep the paint blocky and undetailed (yet still spent time on the main subject, the kitten, to give a good contrast). This is my new approach/direction, which I think will make each piece more interesting and also saves me time (maybe!) as a bonus…

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