Speed painting

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Speed painting is an artistic technique where the artist has a limited time to finish the work. The time can vary, usually a duration is set from several minutes to a few hours.[1][2] Unlike sketches, speed paintings may be considered "finished" after the time limit is up.

Speed painting is particularly common among digital media artists,[3] because digital painting mediums allow for a work to circumvent drying times of traditional media. Digital media artists primarily use speed painting to practice working quickly and efficiently. Speed painting techniques are also frequently used in concept art, particularly in the early stages of a production when the polish of an individual image matters less than a clear basic presentation of many candidate concepts for consideration.[4]

Traditional media artists also use limited-time pieces as a challenge of skill, and an exercise in not over thinking their work.[5][6]

Speedpainted pieces both digital and traditional are considered by artists to be an excellent exhibition of the subjective skill of a painter, as the time constraint requires efficient rendering of form and detail and a deep understanding of their chosen medium to capture a complete, strong image, and leaves little time for noticing and correcting mistakes.

Denny Dent is recognized by many to be the pioneer of speed painting in the United States, introducing speed painting in live performances in 1981.[7]

In the past few years, the term "speedpaint" has also falsely come to be known as a single session of a visual art program, usually sped up and set to music, showing an artwork quickly made within the program. The correct Definition for that would be "timelapse".[8]



  1. ^ Guggemos, Alexia (18 June 2013). "Alexia Guggémos: Speed-Painting aux Beaux-Arts de Paris: 15 artistes dans les starting-blocks" (in French). Retrieved 4 July 2013.
  2. ^ Anthony, Cara (23 June 2013). "Speed painting - Easels in Frederick hosts art competition for second year". The Frederick News-Post. Retrieved 4 July 2013.
  3. ^ 3DTotal Firm (2009). "Digital Painting Techniques, Volume 1". Retrieved 18 May 2014.
  4. ^ 3DTotal Firm (2009). "Digital Art Masters, Volume 4". Retrieved 18 May 2014.
  5. ^ Tonge, Gary (1 November 2011). "Digital Painting, 37 Advanced Tricks and Techniques". Retrieved 18 May 2014.
  6. ^ Blackburn, Tesai (24 February 2014). "Acrylic Painting with Passion: Explorations for Creating Art that Nourishes the Soul". Retrieved 18 May 2014.
  7. ^ Olsen, Brian (17 June 2015). "The Art of Speed Painting". Brian Olsen. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  8. ^ "Browser based speedpaint program". 2015. Retrieved 30 July 2015.