Since I started getting back into painting regularly, I’ve been obsessed with perfection. Like, if I got even the tiniest bit “wrong,” I would get frustrated and toss the painting or drawing or whatever it was. And “wrong” was always pretty arbitrary; sometimes it was perspective, and other times it was a slightly different color that I didn’t intend.
My most recent piece was almost another piece of watercolor paper in the trash.
The line drawing wasn’t my favorite, especially the nose because 1) the proportions were all off and 2) I unintentionally put lines on the top and bottom of the shaded area. I also hated the sunglasses, since I never, ever draw them, and the hatching was … not great. But hey, it wasn’t that bad, I supposed. Onto the painting process.
Once I added watercolor, things went south. I don’t have a picture of it because, well, I was ashamed at my apparent lack of skill, but let’s just say, her complexion looked like she was a Grey, only with a bit of peach added. But! Instead of freaking out and just ripping it to shreds, I tried layering a more yellowish light brown, and I ended up with what didn’t look terrible. It still wasn’t my favorite thing I’d created, but at least I wasn’t having a creative existential crisis. And somehow the sunglasses became my favorite part? Growth.
And then I found myself actually enjoying the process, seeing what I could “fix” and what I could just let be. I didn’t stay within the lines on the hair, and even went with a more natural hair color than I usually do. The background was pretty similar to what I’ve done in the past, but I played with it a bit more than I have before – and ultimately, I got this:
I’ve actually been looking at other artists for inspiration – my two favorites are Tess Emily Rodriguez and Polina Bright, because both of them have such strong artistic voices – so I could find my style and also get out of my creative funk. While I may not be completely out of it, I am thoroughly loving the process of rediscovering my passion for painting. I’m actually planning on doing another art challenge this year where I sketch every day and post what I create, even if it’s absolute shit – maybe I’ll get some ideas out of it? After all, “sun rays …” was inspired by a sketch I did a few days before.
You know, once I write an email to my congressman (it’s for school), I may take my sketchbook to the park and do some people watching/drawing. Gotta keep these juices flowing, right?