A lot of younger or newer artists that paint often say they never know when to stop on a painting and then they over-work it. Or they never know when it is done. I feel I usually know when to stop, especially on an illustration because there is a clear deadline. The trickier things are when there is no deadline, and the subject matter is more subjective. Then you just have to know internally what you want the end result to look like. In this case I had the poses I knew I wanted but the back ground?
This is a sci-fi illustration. The bg is totally up to me. I wanted enough information in it to put the figures in context. I was riffing off of one of my favorite artists I looked at in Heavy Metal mag. in the 80's, Tanino Liberatore. He always drew/painted Ran Xerox. Being the early 80's and I lived in a small town with not much art scene, let alone European comics scene, no one had any idea who he was or what else he had done. Then I saw a Frank Zappa album in a record store, "The Man From Utopia". Even in my early high school naivete in art I recognized his style. I didn't know much about Frank Zappa but I purchased the record immediately just for the art. I ended up getting several more Zappa albums over the years, but "Man From Utopia" was my first and probably my favorite. Especially since it was weird enough to aggravate my parents!
I've been sitting on this image in the "almost" finished stage for several months. I still need to tweak it but I don't know if most people will really see a difference from what it looks like right now.