Knowing When To Stick Things Out
When I was taking art classes – a while ago now – my teacher would be really critical; It wasn’t because he disliked my work, but that he wanted to get the best out of me. One of the things he kept telling me was to ‘be more loose.’ I never really understood what he meant at the time. I think I’ve recently started to learn how to loosen up though. Rather than focussing on small details I’ve been putting down blotches of colours with a large brush and finding that it does eventually all come together. Doing things this way can make me feel a little uneasy though.
I never use to like people seeing my images until I was finished. The reason being that things can take a while before they start to look good. I use to always keep an arm over my sketchbook to try and hide what I was doing. My sketchbook is also filled with lots of drawings that aren’t very good, but it’s all a part of the process of learning and experimenting. I would also sometimes throw my work away before it was done because I just couldn’t see it getting any better. We can’t always tell unless we stick something out though.
I love creating portraits for that reason. For a long time a portrait won’t look like much and then suddenly (usually after adding that speck to the eye) a face will emerge, staring back at you. It can be worth braving it and sticking until the end, even when we cannot yet see the sparkle. I’ve found that I cannot always predict how well my own work is going to turn out. There is usually always that turning point, where it comes to life.
Admittedly the likeness to Will.i.am could be better and the original line drawing wasn’t great, but I feel like my skin shading is starting to come along. I really wasn’t sure about the colours when I first started out, but I think they work in the final image.