This turned out to be quite a learning experience. Partly because it involved a baby which I’ve always had difficulty with but also because I’m so SLOW.
The initial black and white drawing I did rather fast. I decided to draw 4 different layouts of the concept, I had watched an art video where an artist talked about the importance of thumbnails. This phase of the drawing was fun although I was already feeling a little stress because I hadn’t done anything on the commission in the almost 2 weeks I got it. I was busy updating the Schiller-Institute webcast after our conference, but I was also waisting time because a part of me wasn’t excited to draw kids.
I don’t remember at what point I decided to do coloring but I remember just forcing myself to fill in areas in really broad and fast strokes. It was exciting and exhausting, I kept wanting to check my phone or do something else but I wanted to move on to the next phase, to see progress.
The next passes of the creating were just work. It literally felt like clocking in and clocking out of a nine to five. I didn’t feel any real excitement but I noticed whenever I made big changes I would often stop to look at what I did, and those stops were way too long and full of doubt – what if I messed it up. My saving grace was my wife, she literally saved me from my own doubt by giving concrete criticism and suggestions. I would always be a little defensive at first but once I thought about it it always made the piece better once I did it, it got to the point where I would look for her advice. But then she started to tell me to hurry up, I could tell her advice was becoming less because she knows I’m a perfectionist.
I would say my biggest lessons for this piece were
1.) Don’t waste time
2.) Listen to your wife
3.) Clock in and clock out (make a schedule, pace yourself & set goals)
4.) Don’t over think it
In the end the piece was great and I feel much more comfortable painting with colors instead of using the layered approach, I can’t wait to do some new studies now.