Dogs have always been an integral part of our household. One of these dogs was a gorgeous boy named Beauregard. He turned a lot heads at dog shows, especially when he was moving around the ring. The poor boy was a hot mess structurally, his tongue jutting out to the left and the rest of him moving in an odd corkscrew, limbs flailing in all directions. Standing still he was near perfect and a favorite model of mine.
There's one picture that really shows off his good looks while highlighting that goober tongue of his. I've been playing with toned paper and colored pencils, and it made sense to take a dog with natural high contrast points and put him on black paper.
There are definitely scary moments during a drawing where I question everything I've done up to that point and want to stop. This was not an exception. I alternated going brighter and then layering in darker colors on top to give more depth. My favorite phase was one of the last where I used a nice dark blue to define the outlines on his shadowed side.
Perseverance paid off and I thought he came together really well.
The process of drawing, painting, or writing is healing. When I struggle with illness or stress, sitting down and working on a piece is restorative. I hear this from other artists. However, not everyone embraces their creative side. When I hold classes for friends, the hardest part of the lesson is trying to get them to silence their inner critic. Art is only fun if failing is acceptable.
This was something I had to hold onto after I decided to use a new product (without reading the label or trying it on a black piece of paper to make sure it was compatible) and completely destroyed the piece.
That blurry white stuff is not highlighting or glare from the camera. It's permanent.
At least this wasn't a commission piece! Lesson learned. Read labels, test a blank page with the fixative to see if the color warps, and leave well enough alone.
Perhaps the hardest part is knowing when something is done. Knowing I can try again helps dull the pain :)