feeling like an old dog trying to learn a new trick
I admit it, I’m envious of artists that are able to create expressive works of art. The type of art that convinces the viewer that the lines, shapes, & colors just bled straight out of the artist soul and onto the canvas.
Now, I realize, from the artist point of view, that just doesn’t happen. It takes a lot of time and work to develop the required skills. I am trying to get there. Half the battle for me is just letting go and allowing myself to relax and go with the flow.
Perhaps it’s just me, but, I think some of my work comes across a little rigid. I really work at trying to produce the most realistic drawings that my current skill set will allow. Sometimes that hyper-focused, narrow-minded, mindset can take over and crush any creative expression that may be lying just below the surface, waiting to spring forth.
So, for the last couple of weeks, I have been trying to loosen up, and to be honest, it’s freakishly difficult. I will work towards rendering a realistic drawing. I will get certain areas rendered to a level that is acceptable to me. Then I think “Ok, that’s great, now what?” Then comes the hard part. Trying to figure out how to blend or fade the realistic portions into a loose, seemingly unplanned, somewhat chaotic background. That’s when I become really unsure of myself and how to proceed.
But, I am working on it. I seem to feel a little freer each time I attempt this. I think if I continue in this direction I will eventually discover a more confident and expressive artist. Which, of course, is the goal.
Thanks for putting up with my rambling words. Now, I will get on with showing you my latest portrait.
This is Vera, from Sktchy
I have been moving back towards toned paper lately, so, I was searching for a reference image with a lot of strong contrast. I like using toned paper so I can bring out the highlights, as well as, the shadows.
This image on Sktchy checked all the boxes. The image had a strong amount of contrast and harsh lighting.
I focused most of my effort on her face and hand and then let the drawing become more sketch-like as I worked my way out.
I used a charcoal pencil and brush applied charcoal powder for the background. I think there may be too much contrast between charcoal and graphite. In the future, I may try to stay with graphite for the background.
I have also been considering other mediums altogether but, really haven’t zeroed in on anything yet.
As always, a sincere thank you for viewing my work, I hope you have a great day. – Mike