Speed. It's funny how speed has become such an important factor in painting. Ok. Look. I have a riding lawn mower. Zero radius. I have 2 + acrea to cut about every two weeks in Spring, Summer, and maybe once every 3 weeks in Fall. After that I relax for a season. Now the way I see it, speed is important in cutting all that grass and cutting it as fast as possible. So I push the throttle down as far as it'll go and the blades spin fastest. I start cutting but as I look behind me I'm going so fast that the mower's suction power isn't strong enough to pull up some weeds after the front wheels have flattened them down. However, if I slow up some, there's a little more time available for the suction to pull up those few flattened weeds that didn't get cut the first time thru. And when they dont get cut I have to go back over them which involves more time. So I've found the key is to not go real fast and to go only as fast as the mower will properly cut. Now if I had a mower that was so powerful that it could pull up every weed after it's been flattened by the wheels and cut it, that would be great. But I dont.
So lets relate that to painting. How fast should we go. I think it depends on what you expect your painting to be. If you want it to be just so so-then speed thru it. Yes you'll end up with flattened weeds that you didn't get that first time thru. This would relate to improper values used, not the best colors, composition problems, technical errors, etc. So if you can live with that, fine. And sometimes it's ok to just zip thru one to get the feel of it and experiment with it. Buy when you're thinking serious about it, you have to relax and let the painting help you along. Dont try to rush it. What's the hurry? Whether in the studio or plein air. Don't try to go faster than the blades can cut correctly.
I recently painted at the Duluth Plein Air event. I'm not a fast painter at all but I'm also not slow. Or I should say, not as slow as I once was. I completed three paintings in two days. Two 11x14 and one 9x12. The two 11x14 turned out very good. One sold for $ 550. I didnt try to push too hard but I also didnt just take my sweet time. It's the thinking ahead to the next brush stoke and where it needs to be and how it's to be delivered to the canvas that's seems to be the important thing. Knowing where you're going next. And that comes with time and practice. Until you reach nirvana where you instinctively feel connected when you put that brush in your hand. So i would say paint as fast as you can paint well. Yes, you can paint very loose but do it well. Know what that means. As for myself-I'm still trying to figure it out. Heh heh.