Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Beauty and the Beast or How I get through the day

Lesson for the Day:

Keep Painting

I feel like I post this every month or so, but it is never any less applicable. For those that know me, I wear my emotions on my sleeve, and often let my mouth outpace, if not lap, my thoughts. Both can be a boon and a curse. I feel that these things also manifest themselves in my art career. I produce something neat, or get a positive critique and generate this foolish notion that everything has to be at that level instantly. Then I look for praise where there will likely be none and feel diminished when attention is not forthcoming. Stupid hobbit...

But wait, what does this have to do with painting.

No matter your skill level or position in the art community, you have to keep working. Stopping for a day turns into two which rolls into five and pretty soon you haven't produced something new in a month or more. Now I am not talking about a brief siesta or vacations. We all know when we wuss out or get in the dumps. When you find yourself there like I do ...um...weekly, then draw or do studies. Instead of taking a day off, take an easy day. Do something comfortable to replenish your confidence and get back to rolling that boulder uphill.

I get so bogged down with where I want to go, that I lose sight of where I was. I look back to the work Sam (Flegal) and I were doing a year ago, and the work we have done in the interim and feel like an idiot. As long as you put one dogged foot in front of the other, you can baby step your way to whatever comes next. That said, I have tossed up my current WIP that has been a testament to this process. I got so frustrated early on that I did a Foster Robot study, and then 3 other studies before laying the first Robot rendering. I am very pleased with where this is at, and am excited to dive into the figure. I'll be playing Dan Dos Santos's DVD on loop while working and looking at the figure study he gave me to punch through and level up my figure painting. I guess you guys will be the judges.

Anyways, if you can't keep your chin up, then put your head down and bull forward.


  1. Good thoughts man, I definitely needed to hear something along those lines.

    On the piece, so glad you posted a newer shot of this from the drawntoday post. I was salivating with not being able to see how the painting was coming along. The "beast" is certainly looking SWEET. I'm totally digging the dirty blue/orange complementary color scheme you've got going on.

    A couple thoughts (which may just be worth grains of salt):

    1. You might consider bringing in a more intense blue in some areas of the sky, kind of like the BG on your IMC piece. Just to really get it to pop since the cloud motion is so dynamic and to really set off the rusty oranges at the horizon.

    2. Really looking forward to seeing how you deal with "Beauty's" skin tones. Be careful not to get too monochromatic with your shadows and deaden her out.

    Again just thoughts, love it so far, can't wait to see it progress.

  2. Just wanted to tell you that I can relate to what you are saying, Grant. You keep that emo patch on the ol' shoulder. It's one of your best assets.