A very happy Monday to you, l hope it is the beginning of a wonderful week. I have been thinking a lot about the above question over the past few weeks. I think l have spoken a little about making comparisons before, but it has been on my mind once again. I spent a little too long looking at beautiful artwork on the net and found myself feeling totally discouraged and demotivated. The thoughts that l will never be good enough, never be as good as the artists whose work l have been admiring, never be as good as l want to be have filled far too much head space. So, l thought l should listen to the advice l would give to anyone else.
There are two possible outcomes of comparing our artwork with someone else's, one outcome is the one that l mentioned above. A pretty negative one really that certainly doesn't result in any progress in our own artwork. I think this is the way that most of us go. Some much rarer people think their work is much better than the work they look at. Funny thing is, that too results in no progress, because after all if you are better you don't see the need to improve. You are good enough already.
The secret then is to look with an eye towards learning. Ask what makes this piece so good? Can l work on my skills in that area? That is motivating and leads to progress.
But there is one comparison worth making, the only one really. That is comparing yourself with yourself. Why was l thinking about that you ask? Because l was struggling with the piece below and even though it is actually finished now l am not one hundred percent happy with it. Now p actually think not being completely happy with a finished piece is a very good thing. For exactly the reasons above. If we are one hundred percent happy we won't make progress. It is all about balance again.
So, last week l got out a drawing from eight months ago to take a better photo of it. Here is why comparing yourself with yourself is a good thing. I could see instantly a whole host of things that l could do to improve that piece. I knew that if l sat down to draw it again, it would be much better. That tells me that l have made progress in the past eight months. That is motivating. That makes me feel happy. That inspires me to believe that one day if l just keep trying l will produce works as beautiful as those l have been admiring.
The lesson is this, don't look at how far you have to go, look at the distance you have already come and let that motivate you.
The finished golden Cherry is in my store online now and there will be a whole new web page full of new pieces and progress shots in a week or two.
Well, hello at last my friends, fellow artists and Google surfers who randomly found yourselves here! I am back after an embarrassingly long absence. I apologise wholeheartedly. I had begun to feel l was repeating myself too much, and in all honesty l write longer Instagram captions at times than l do blogs! But here l am with new pencils. Yes, a whole new, complete set of Caran D'Ache Pablo pencils to be exact, how exciting is that? Well, unless you are a colored pencil artist it is probably not exciting at all, but oh! if you are...... well, you will understand. There are no surprises with the colors (they are exactly the same as the Supracolor pencils), but l didn't mind that as l think the colors are some of the best out there, beautiful pale beiges, unusual greys, some great olives and some really useful odd orangish colours.
I wanted to really just test out the pencils, so l decided to draw something completely different, that was really more an exercise in shading than anything else. I used only the Pablo pencils for this piece and a tiny amount of white ink. I worked on a grey Stonehenge paper. I drew this pretty yellow gemstone.
So, what did l think you are asking? The answer is that l absolutely love them, so much that my Supracolors have been put away. Except for the white, the Supracolor white is still my favourite white for working on top of things. The lay down on these pencils is the creamiest of any that l own, they are so smooth, they just feel like a quality pencil when you work. The coverage is excellent and they layer really well. They hold a very sharp point (though not quite as well as the Polychromos) and so are better for detail than the Supracolor. They also work really well in conjunction with Polychromos. They are not as lightfast as the Caran D'Ache Luminance so that may be a consideration, but they are lightfast rated and in all honesty l like working with them better than l like working with the Luminance.
lf you are here because you are looking to buy your first set of quality pencils then l will say that if you can only buy one set go with Polychromos, they have the edge slightly in holding a point, they are more widely available and are not so expensive, but if you are looking to add to your collection you can't go wrong with these.
So, l have had lots of fun experimenting (and l am experimenting again today, the results of which l may or may not share, it depends how badly it goes!).
Happy weekend to you!
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