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Submitted on
March 2, 2010


7,181 (2 today)
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Some of you may be familiar with the art of Bonsai. For those who are not, it is the art of growing normal trees in containers, and grooming and shaping them for aesthetic beauty, generally with an attempt to replicate how that tree would look if allowed to grow to full size. While bonsai trees are grown from the same stock as any other tree (they're not genetically different), simply putting a tree in a pot does not make it a bonsai. It has to be pruned, shaped, groomed, and meticulously cared for to achieve something that can be labeled as such, and mastering the art takes a long, long time.

Just as bonsai are not just trees growing in pots, speed paintings are not just paintings done in a short amount of time.

Speed painting is the art of quickly depicting an idea by providing the viewer with the necessary textures and colors and compositional elements without going in and explicitly painting every one of them. It is beauty through imprecision. It is an expressive art form. The purest ideas for your artwork come at the very beginning of a painting when the inspiration is fresh.

If you find yourself carefully blending skin tones or drawing every blade of grass, you're doing it wrong! If you're doing a 2-hour Speedy du Jour and have your idea conveyed at 45 minutes, you're DONE. You should absolutely NOT take the rest of the time to refine what you painted! --not if you want to count it a speedpainting at least!

Does this mean your painting should look crappy when you submit it? No, of course not! :) While the work may not always be everything you hoped and dreamed it would be, especially if you're just beginning to speed paint, expressing your honest idea quickly is a successful speed painting! Skill at painting quickly and depicting exactly what was in your head will come with practice.

Given all of this, I'm going to go through the galleries (current SdJ is safe for now) and sort out work that doesn't meet with this description of speed painting. (Concept art is something I consider to be a longer form of speed painting. I expect it to be loose as well, or it won't be accepted.) I intend to be fairly picky with what is allowed, BUT, I believe that a speed painting done by someone just starting out that honestly strives for these ideals will still be accepted.

Going forward, SdJ's will also need to adhere to this definition of speed painting, or they won't be accepted.

If you've got any thoughts/questions/comments/addendums, please share them!

Bear in mind, this is a Speed Painting group! That's what people are here to see (and do), and that's what I intend to show!
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UntoldPromises Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Love it! Thanks!
xvortexbladex Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Monet paintings come to mind when I think of speed paint- its about the mood and suggestion of form rather than the actual depicition of it. 
YuriKolovsky Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2014  Hobbyist
Your definition of a "speed painting" sounds a lot like the definition of a "sketch".
DarkBubbles28 Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014  Hobbyist Filmographer
I don't know where to possibly start! (Literally, I don't know where to go.... HELP!)
YuriKolovsky Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2014  Hobbyist
Holly-Mellor Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Watch some videos on youtube, it really helps! Then, just do, that's the key. Open photoshop or whatever programme you are using and paint!
Mikhanator Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I haven't even started, but I plan to do my best in supporting and contributing to this group :D Go easy on me for the time being ~nyaaa? :iconmoesmileplz:
poplet Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012  Student General Artist
I'm just wondering, does speed painting with a reference photo still get accepted?
I have a feeling this question has already been asked, but if it could be answered here that could be great. :)
nikki2290 Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2012  Student Filmographer
very well written, and thanks for clearing out any of my doubts! :)
the-dead-empress Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2012  Student
The faves gallery looks really rendered but loose. I was wondering if it's possible to render to the point of the faves gallery. I already work -usually- fast but I wasn't sure how rendered is too rendered bc some stuff in the gallery seems really detailed but stylistically painterly instead of painterly from speed. I want to make sure I don't break any rules!!!!!

Can you give images of "too rendered" and "just perfect" side by side? I'm sorry! I just wanna be a good participant and maybe others are wondering too! Thank you for accepting me into your group!!!
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