l don’t know what has happened just lately - but l can’t produce a piece l feel even remotely happy with! This is the fourth piece in two weeks to go behind the cupboard of no return! It looks like scribble! It won’t pop! And l am feeling pretty fed up with it!
The image you see is four days work, a lot of hours for something to end up unfinished!
l really try to finish every piece, but occasionally l start to feel as though by carrying on l am wasting my precious time. And l feel like that with this piece. I was so excited to start it as well!
You wonder why l am sharing another disaster?
Well, l am sharing it because l want everyone to know that we all get pieces that don’t work. We all get times when we feel not good enough! It is normal to feel that way sometimes.
So, what have l done to make myself feel better? Something l have done before which l find very interesting and very motivating.
I went through my artwork and found a piece from a couple of years ago that l was quite happy with at the time. Actually, l have been saving it to frame it. But when I looked at it again, it didn’t look so good! Two years down the line, l can do better.
So l have taken a day out and spent 5 hours working on it. It is a fun thing to do as all the boring work is done. I just get to play around with the fun bits, and yes, at the end of five hours l see a noticeable improvement. That is really motivating when you are going through a bad patch.
l will share it with you on my next blog, but l would seriously recommend this as therapy to anyone who feels they are just not progressing! I feel better and ready to move on to something new, which hopefully won’t end up behind the cupboard of no return!
So l have had a full set of Derwent Inktense pencils sitting in my art room unused for nearly two years! I was so excited to get them, l couldn’t wait! I tried them once - didn’t like them and gave up! I bought the Inktense blocks at the same time and for some reason liked them better. I used them for several backgrounds. But the pencils, l was really disappointed with.
I don’t like the feel of the color lay down, it isn’t very smooth. The dry pencils don’t blend very well. And l can’t sharpen them to a fine enough point or get them to hold it.
A long and major list of dislikes here! But over the past few weeks l have been looking at them sitting there and been thinking l should really give them another try. They are unique pencils, like no other on the market and one try is really not a fair assessment. So, determined to give them another chance l got them out.
This time l decided that rather than trying to get all the detail with the pencils, l would use them to create a base layer to work my usual coloured pencils over. They still didn’t lay down smoothly (although l suspect a more toothy paper than l use might help with that), they still didn’t blend well dry. But when l used my favourite Artnfly water brush pens to blend them, the colors just popped off the page. They blended together with the beauty and softness of water color. The base they created was amazingly vibrant.
l am not actually certain whether l like the absolutely smooth blending result l got because it looks almost like digital art to me (and l promise you l have done no editing to blend the colors more smoothly). I would like to try adding more detail with the Inktense on top next time.
The vibrancy and saturation of the base layer meant that far fewer pencil layers were needed. This saved a huge amount of time but l do miss the subtlety of only colored pencil layers and the texture that can be seen from many layers of pencil in real life.
My other issue with Inktense is that they are not light fast rated which means l would be unhappy to sell pieces drawn using these pencils.
However, after a second attempt with these pencils l feel that l should have further experiments with them. They are a very unique and interesting pencil to work with. And l am really looking forward to trying them again.
l am finally back with a post! I try to be regular with these things but l am not good at it at all! However, p have something l really want to share with you. I know l have discussed many times about not giving up on drawings, but here l have learned a little more!
l drew the Betta Fish below a few months ago, the fish you see on your left as you look at the photo. It took me around 80 hours, and whatever l did l could not make it look interesting. I exaggerated the colors l could see in the reference photo, l added more contrast. Yet every time l looked at it my heart sank. It was just boring to my eyes. Same, same, same mid tones that l didn’t even like in combination!
l have actually become very good at completing things and sure enough l made myself finish this piece, but l hated it!
So all that work went behind the cupboard of no return! Only this time something returned! I looked at it again over the holidays and at all the work l had put into it. I decided that whatever l did to it, l couldn’t like it less than l already did! So l took out my pencils and began having fun with color.
Now you obviously l was limited to some extent because this is pencil. You can’t make it lighter, you can’t change blue to yellow. But allowing for those limits l was free to play. I added greens and purples and pinks and just kept adding. I increased the contrast for more depth and sharpened everything up.
lt was really fun just throwing the reference photo out of the window and doing whatever l felt like. The end piece might not be very realistic but at least it isn’t boring! And l have saved a piece l spent a very long time on!
Lesson - don’t be too quick to give up on a piece, a little more time and a bit of creativity can take something you don’t like into something totally different.
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