Sometimes it’s good to push an idea a bit further, beyond the point you would usually stop– just to see if you can make it a little bit better.
Here’s a simple follow up, of the process to making my 2016 self-portrait: Dreams.
I started this sketch back in November, with a simple idea in mind- to draw myself with a vibrant bouquet made up of art supplies, and my sketchbook. At the time, I was very confident that I had everything figured out, and this was the final draft. I even took the time to do a clean pencil line-art in my sketchbook for inking.
But because I simply wasn’t ready to finish it at the time, I stepped away from it, didn’t look at it or touch it, until New Year’s Eve. After giving it some thought, It needed a little bit more…
Sometimes you have to take a step back, to see the better picture
It’s easy to run the risk of being too intimate with your own work. You could become so obsessed with the details, that you lose sight of what the bigger picture is all about.
In my experience during figure study classes, the instructors always encouraged their students to step back, or away from their canvases every once and a while, because when working in such a large format, the artist is only able to focus on whats in their direct line of sight. When the artist fails to do this, very often when they look at the final piece, they find various problems. For example, the eyes may not line up, the face may be out of proportion, different parts of the body may be disproportionate, or out of scale– All, which could easily be fixed by simply looking at the work as a whole instead of focusing on the finer details.
This isn’t a concept that’s exclusive to working in large formats either. The same can be said by simply stepping away from your work for a period of time, so that when you come back to it, you have fresh ideas on how to make it better, and it’s a trick used by writers, musicians and artists of all kinds.
So, when it came to working on Dreams, I certainly saw room for improvement.
Laziness is not a Virtue: The importance of having your very own support group
Bea: im really debating if I should color this
Zygona: i think you should
Bea: I know I want it to have like, a watercolor look…
Zygona: that would be cool
Bea: i dunno if I just find line-art more appealing or if I’m just being lazy lol
Zygona: well, save the line and try coloring it, and if you still like the line better then you can say you do like the line better and its not laziness
Bea: aka no being lazy lol
Bea: lol I’m glad you made me not be lazy and actually color it
Zygona: indeed. i like it colored
Zygona– Always the voice of reason in my every-day life >_<. Justin and my friend D’andre are also two individuals who have a lot of say in my work, and their input has been essential to my growth. After-all, how do you know where to improve if you don’t have anyone there that you trust to critique you? Thanks guys ^_~.
One thing that I’m happy about, after finishing this piece, is being able to see my growth in comparison to my first Constellations/Dreams illustration from last year, that featured Estelle, a character I created for the sake of marking my own progress as an artist.
As far as this illustration is concerned, I’ve always wanted to work with more vibrant colors, and play with collage like concepts, especially since both have always been very difficult for me to do. But I took the time to reflect on what I’ve learned this year, allowed myself to exercise new ideas and try new things, and challenged myself to work outside my own comfort zones with the encouragement of my friends, and it lead to a piece that I am very proud of. Going into 2016, I intend to do much of the same, with the hope that by the New Year of 2017, I’ll have another illustration to share, that not only marks my progress for the year, and my growth as an artist, but sets a new standard for the years that follow.
And with that, I leave you with a little animation showing my process to the final piece 🙂
Hope you liked this post, and as always, till next time, Enjoy!