This morning I wanted to practice drawing faces in different styles (for my next project), so I drew myself from a photo that I took as I sat there. I also wanted to draw a self portrait to use on this site and elsewhere, as I think its a good way to show that you would indeed use your own product (EHEM AND SO SHOULD YOU ONLY £9.99 at Woolworths). However it is very difficult to get this seemingly straightforward task right.
Firstly the 3 minute sketch I did this morning was far better than the 90 minute sketch (don't judge me!) that I did in the same sitting later on - one that I worked on after 3 or 4 :coughawful: attempts. So I saw in effect what I already knew; that whilst practice is important over the years, in a single sitting frame of mind is far more important. You actually have to feel relaxed and almost blase. Working on the same "sketch" for 90 minutes is hard. It becomes hypnotic and addictive. Its hard to explain and I wonder - in fact I am sure other artists will know what I mean when I say it's easy to over work something. It's a temptation I probably give in to too often.
That is the story with sketching. Now, for me at least, the same is not true of painting. It is still a fine balance and you have to know when to stop (most times I do not get it right) but at least I am learning. With painting it seems to help to start large and work down (or is it up) to the detail, like sculpting out of rock. Chip off the blocks and then chisel the features, finally sand the surface.
The thing is, sometimes I lose sight of the overall effect and just get into perfecting it on a micro level. The challenge then is to keep the big picture in mind whilst making the details work for the larger picture. O man. It's hard work is what I am saying. It's the same as with writing or cooking or anything creative. I didn't think it wasn't, I am just reiterating that whilst it is fulfilling and entertaining and fascinating not to say downright awesome to be doing art everyday, it also takes a lot to get over the basic fear that you are just a bit wack. The fear gives you tunnel vision leads you to completely pummel a piece of work into the ground and all because you are actually procrastinating.
What you are procrastinating over is usually between you and your next project. AHA. The truth. I am meant to be starting something new you see, and I am excited and nervous. This drawing exercise was a way of dealing with these DISTRACTING EMOTIONS whilst successfully not getting on with tackling the task and in doing so potentially discovering that maybe it isn't as "challenging" (read impossibly hard and out of my range of capabilities) as the mean little voices might say or as I had feared. In fact everyone seems to agree that challenging is good. I need a challenge it seems.
No one wants to be a wack artist or a wack anything. It's all very difficult. Poor me. Living the dream. ;)
PS because I am stubborn I cartoonised my sketch anyway despite it not really being a cartoon, as that was the reason (excuse) for spending all day drawing my stupid face. (Its weird I look like a robotic mutant of Jackie Onassis and believe me that is not what I would want to look like if I could choose which is weird because I could given that I am its creator). I am not sure I will use it on twitter or here or anywhere ever again, but there you go, you never know you just have to do these things anyway. The style thing is probably definitely helping toward my next project, the clues are these. I might be able to share a few things as I go along. Or I should start some things on the side to keep up the versatility, I was beginning to think I could only draw Death in Therapy style. I just wanted to prove myself wrong.
Also I did paint my self portrait in oils a few years ago, maybe 2007? I can't find a photo of it right now. It's not an easy thing to do without getting all upside your head. Could just be me. I dunno.