In this post, I’m telling you to do a section and move on.
Last week, I made a post called Perfection Vs Production where I admitted that I need to try to make as many pieces as I can done and not try to make every individual piece just right and in this video I’m telling you how I’ve been putting that into practice.
When I was painting last night, I worked on this section until I’d done all I could on it and then,
I immediately moved on to this one.
When that was done, I moved on to here and so on.
Like I said before, don’t stress over what you’re not sure about. Work on what you are sure about.
I’m not saying that because you finish a section, you can never go back to it. If you look at your painting against you’re reference photo and it’s glaringly obvious to you that something is missing or you need to make a change somewhere, by all means, do it. As artists , we want our paintings to be as good as they can be.
It goes without saying, also, that when you’re doing you’re initial work on a section, you should make it the best you can.
Also if you just want to add something for the heck, because you like the way it looks, again, that’s fine. But what I’m referring to are times when you know what you should be doing or you want to do not when you’re just pondering over a section because you’re afraid to move on from it. It’s the latter situation that I’m encouraging you to avoid.
So do you find it easy to work on a section of piece and move on or do you struggle? Tell me in the comments, please.
This post is going to be about time.
Time is nonrefundable. Use with intention. That’s a quote I saw on Twitter.
I can’t save my time like I can save my money. If you give me five dollars, I can choose to either spend that five dollars right now, or put it in my savings and, if I want to spend it a year from now, It’ll still be there. But let’s replace those five dollars with five minutes. I have choices. I can use those five minutes to do something for my business. I can use them to watch a video on youtube that I’ll enjoy. I can spend them staring at my computer not knowing what I want to watch or do. Or I could use them to rest. But I cannot take those five minutes, shove them in a drawer and use them in a year. I will never have those same five minutes again in my life.
When we have a lot of time, time seems like our friend, but when we have little time, time seems like our enemy. I want to have a good relationship with time. I want to make time my best friend.
If I'm thinking of time as my enemy because I don’t feel like I have enough of it to do everything I want to do, I need to rearrange it. I need to push something back or reschedule another activity for a later date. If I have to get somewhere in the morning and I'm worried you won’t have time for a shower, I need to get up earlier, or take an evening shower.
Joyce Meyer said we can either waste our time or we can invest our time. Every picture I’m able to post on Instagram, every completed painting I’m able to post on my website gallery, every blog post I’m able to publish, every time I’m able to hit the upload button on youtube, are results of times I’ve chosen to invest instead of waste my time.
Now I’m not saying we need to be work, work, work, all the time. Of course, eating, sleeping and exercising are vitally important and I often find that a twenty minute power nap during the day is necessary to recharge me so I can continue working
John Lennon said “Time you enjoy wasting was not wasted”. So it’s okay to have fun as long as we keep our commitments to ourselves and others.
But there are times I’ve been guilty of doing frivolous internet surfing when I probably should have been using that time to do one of the things I just mentioned.
When you’re saving time, you’re really just finding a way to do a task in a lesser amount of time so you can invest that time somewhere else.
So how’s your relationship with time. Are you going to change it after watching this video? Tell me all about it in the comments
I'm working on another 11x14 acrylic on Belgian Linen,which I'm titling "Monkey Eating Leaf" for now. I started with an underpainting for my background.
At this point, I've been glazing gray blue made by mixing transparent mixing white and ivory black with ultramarine blue over the rocks on the right hand side. I then added quinacridone red to this mixture to make it purple and used it on the rock on the far left. Tonight, I mixed gray blue and white and titanium white and mars black with violet and, using a small round brush, painted little bits of these colors over the sheer blue and purple. After putting down my gray violet color, I realized it was too strong, so I mixed transparent mixing white and ivory black and glazed that over it to tone it down. I tried to use my gray blue straight out of the tube, but saw that it was way too dark for some areas and decided to mix titanium white into it
Tonight I mixed a transparent purple, similarly to how I described above and glazed it over the upside down triangle at the top. I mixed transparent grayish brown using transparent burnt umber and glazed that right under where the purple was. I glazed ivory black over that to make it even darker. I mixed transparent gray blue the same way I did last time and, using a small round brush, painted little bits of that over where I'd painted the purple. Using that same brush, I repainted the titanium white streaks that were lost when I glazed the purple.
I added more sheer grayish white and purple to different areas of the painting.
In the lower right hand corner, I used prussian blue to make a sheer grayish blue.
I'd previously used this color to make little blue marks in the dark brown at the top of the painting.
I mixed a transparent pink for the area around the white of the rock on the left hand side.
Finally, I put titanium white and transparent mixing white patches on the blue at the bottom.
I added more transparent blue and purple here and some transparent gray to the gray spot where the ground meets the rock.
Last night, in addition to adding yet more transparent blue and purple to the painting, I went over the lightest parts of the floor with titanium white. I rimmed the dark shadowy area on the far right with transparent pink, layered over with green made by mixing hansa yellow light and ultramarine blue, to tone it down. In the aforementioned dark patch, I've started to put bits of pale blue, made by mixing a touch of ultramarine blue into titanium white.
Here's my drawing of the monkey transferred onto my canvas.
Here's my underpainting for the monkey done.
Tonight, I started to add color to the monkey. I used grayish shades of blue and brown using a large filbert brush. Using a small round brush, I painted small lines of grayish blue made by mixing titanium white, ivory black and ultramarine blue in where I'd put the the transparent gray-blue.
To paint his left eye, I first painted pale gray from the lid to the first crease. Then I glazed hansa yellow light over this part accept for a liner part at the outer corner. Using a liner brush, I painted thin lines of quinacridone red along his pupil and along the first rim. I painted a dot of titanium white on his inner corner and went over most of that with the hansa yellow light. Finally, I filled in the space between his pupil and that dot with transparent burnt sienna. I think I'm going to bring the dark gray at the inner corner in a little further.
I've added a lot of titanium white and transparent mixing white strokes with a liner brush and I think it's made a big difference.
Tonight, I used the color I described in my last post to fill in the leaf, doing a glaze. I mixed some more of every color I'd used to mix it, except white, and painted the ridge in the middle.
Tonight, I went over the monkey's torso with Mars black to make the color more uniform and then glazed ultramarine blue mixed with ivory black over it to give it some depth.
Finished! To paint the leaves, I mixed equal parts ultramarine blue and hansa yellow to make a transparent green and glazed that all over most of the leaves. I adjusted this with either ivory black or transparent mixing white as needed. I also used touches of cadmium yellow, gray made by mixing titanium white and mars black, and grayish brown made by mixing burnt umber into those colors in various parts of the leaves and branches. For most of the branches, I glazed a mixture of transparent mixing white and transparent burnt umber over them, adding more burnt umber to darken the color for shading.
This post is going to be about my take on trying to perfect my work vs trying to produce a lot of work.
This is another topic that was touched on in “7 Habits Of Highly Effective Artists”. It was, to be exact, Volume, not perfection. The idea is that we should be aiming to produce as much work as possible rather than trying to make every individual piece perfect.
I said in my video about getting stuck on projects that I’m always a little afraid to call a piece finished. That’s because I always wonder if I look back on it in a little while will I think, I should’ve made that lighter, or I should’ve put a bit more detail there.
Of course I’m not saying we should rush through our paintings and drawings and not care at all about quality. I care a lot about the quality of my work. I even made a post about.
But what I am saying is that maybe we, or I, need to not to worry so much about every minute detail of a single piece, because, as was said in the video, the more paintings and drawings we make, the faster we will improve. So those details we might be agonizing over now will become clearer to us over time
I personally think quality is more important than quantity when it comes to my own work. I would rather produce a dozen really good pieces in a year than fifty so-so ones. But buyers and collectors want to see a big body of work when they come to an artist’s website, and to be honest, a big body of work always impresses me when I visit another artist’s website more than just a few pieces, even if those few pieces are amazing
Do perfectionist tendencies ever get in the way of you producing more work? Please share your experiences in the comments.
This post is going to be about times when you might be stuck and not know what to do next on a piece.
By not knowing what do next, I don’t mean that you literally don’t know what you want to paint next, but you don’t know how to go about doing it. I’ve had this experience myself and I know it can be really frustrating.
The best way that I know how to deal with this problem is to direct my focus somewhere else. If I’m not sure about something I’m working on, I move on to something I am sure about.
So, let’s say I was working on this okapi’s back
but reached a brick wall. Maybe I’m very clear on what to do about this okapi’s head,
so I’ll work on that.
If I literally can’t figure out anything about my current project, I might do a sketch for what I’m planning to be my next painting and then come back to it. If then, I can’t find what I need to add or what changes to make, I may just have to admit when the painting is finished. I’m always a little afraid to call a piece finished because I always think there’s something more I could do, but that could be a whole other post.
The reason I’m saying all this is because I want us all to realize that feeling stuck doesn’t have to be scary. It shouldn’t stop us from creating.
If we’ve been stuck on one piece for a long time, we may have to admit we’ve done all we can with that piece. Regardless of how we may feel about it, we might just have to call it finished sign it, take what we could learn from it, and move on.
Do you ever find yourself stuck on projects? How do you handle it? Share in the comments.
I'm starting this painting with the underpainting for some blurry leaves. I've done this by blocking in my entire canvas with a very dark gray that I made by mixing mars black with some titanium white. Once the entire canvas was blocked in, I painted on even darker gray, and then white patches, using zigzag strokes with a filbert brush. Using a round brush, I painted marks of varying widths and lengths to represent leaves.
I mixed a darkish gray by adding titanium white to my premixed gray color and, using a small round brush, painted leaf like shapes all over the canvas.
Using the same technique as described in my last post, I painted black "leaves" all over the canvas. I painted titanium white and grey highlights on my dark gray leaves. I'm in the process of using a liner brush to paint darkish gray, black and white "branches" by making a shaky motion with my wrist as I move the lines down. I'm making mostly incomplete "v" and "x" patterns
Here's the painting with the black and the white "branches" filled in.
I mixed hansa yellow light, ultramarine blue, transparent burnt umber, and ivory black to make a dark brownish green, which I glazed over the background. I decided it wasn't dark enough for me, though, so I mixed a color that included more ivory black. I wasn't satisfied, however, until I glazed straight ivory black all over the green of the background. I did this by mixing the paint with the medium to the point where it was pretty much a tinted medium.
Here are the branches painted a darker grayish brown made by mixing transparent mixing white, ivory black, and burnt umber and a dark brown made by mixing transparent burnt umber and ivory black.
Here's my sketch of the trees for the midground, which I'm going to trace and transfer onto the canvas.
Here I've painted cadmium yellow and titanium white highlights onto the background.
Here's the underpainting for the trees started.
Here's the underpainting for the midground finished.
I've gone over the first tree from the left with a light brown made by mixing transparent mixing white with transparent burnt umber. I mixed some transparent burnt umber into gray made by mixing transparent mixing white with ivory black and glazed that over part of the ground. I also mixed quinacridone red into my brown and glazed that over part the tree in the far right. I put a fair amount of matte medium into all of these colors.
Here are my okapis transferred onto my painting.
Here's the underpainting for the okapis finished.
I've started by glazing transparent burnt sienna all over the okapis whose bodies can be seen. I glazed transparent raw umber for the darker shadows on the first okapis body. I have more work to do on that still, but for now I'm working on the gray and white patches.
I glazed quinacridone red over multiple layers of transparent burnt sienna on the first okapi to brighten it. Then I mixed gray from transparent mixing white and ivory black and, using a small round brush, painted streaks and swirls of this shade where appropriate. That's when I could see the painting coming together.
I glazed hansa yellow over the white of this okapis head. I went over it with a wet brush to tone it down.
I glazed grayish blue over this okapi's neck.
I glazed magenta over the brown in both of the okapi's bodies.
I added a horn and an ear to the okapi on the far right and the painting is finished!
This post is going to tbe about how to steal from other people the right way.
The seed for this post was planted when I watched a video from “You Create You’re Reality” with a talk by Andrew Price called “Seven Habit s Of Highly Effective Artists", which is full of gems and which I highly recommend, link in the description. Anyway, one of the recommendations was to steal. Picasso said “Good artists copy. Great artists steal”.
But Sara, I thought stealing was wrong, you might be saying now. It is wrong, unless you do it the right way.
I googled good stealing vs bad stealing before writing the script for this video and I came across Alyson Standfield’s blog, which has a handy chart which reads like this.
Steal from many
Steal from one
In other words, when you steal, quote unquote, be creative as well. Don’t be a slave to someone else’s creation. Like I just said transform it and remix it. Use different colors. Change positioning. Study another artist’s work and the techniques he used and see how you can incorporate them into your work.
I want to focus in on the topics of stealing from many vs stealing from one and crediting vs plagiarizing
First: stealing from many vs stealing from one. It seems pretty obvious to me why sealing form many is better than stealing from one. If you copy one person, you become a clone of that person. In the case of visual artists, you’re artwork becomes an exact duplicate of that person’s work. Even if you make original pieces, they’ll look like they were done by the person you’re stealing from. On the other hand, if you steal from many people, you’ ll most likely come up with something original and unique because instead of pulling from one source, you can take a little bits from all over the place.
Now for crediting vs plagiarizing. I don’t think I really have to tell you this, but it’s very important to give credit when you get an idea from someone else. I’ve done it in this video. You might say that I technically stole this video idea, but I’ve credited throughout. I credited the channel that the video I got this idea from came from, I credited the woman who’s blog I saw the chart I used on, I credited the man who gave the talk in the video I mentioned, and I credited Picasso for his quote.
When you credit a person who’s idea you used, you honor them, which is the first rule of good stealing. When you take someone’s idea and don’t credit them, you dishonor that person and can be very insulting to that person.
I just want to say that you can’t literally copy someone’s exact work, and then make money off of it as long as you give them credit. Please read up on copyright infringement. I made a video on this topic you might find helpful.
How are you going to incorporate good stealing into your work? Let me know in the comments.
The title of this video are a question that I honestly don't have a straight answer to. I can't say, yes I want to be famous or no, I don't want to be famous
For transparency purposes, I mean famous for my painting and drawing efforts.
While I don't understand wanting to be famous for its own sake, I understand wanting to be famous in one's field.
In cases of people like me, the bigger following we have, the better living we tend to make and if we're actually famous, we obviously have a really big following
Also, achieving fame, particularly on a national or international level, seems like the ultimate form of validation. As if you can say to your naysayers, "I must be talented. All these people say so."
I can't really say I don't want to be famous because, of course of course who wouldn’t welcome an enormous amount of recognition, which is ultimately what fame is.
But I don't intend to wait until I'm famous before I celebrate my achievements, because that would be wasting a lot of time. Also, I believe in being grateful and enjoying whatever bit of recognition we get now.
What about you? Do you do something that you think about being famous for one day? Share it with everyone in the comments below.
Today I have another quick tip for you and that’s to focus on one part of your piece at a time. I think I’ve touched on this in another video but really, focus on one part at a time.
In a recent painting session, I was looking at my reference photo and trying to figure out how I was going to paint the okapi’s jaw, neck, and back.
I felt paralyzed by indecision and could only bring myself to start working when I told myself I was just going to focus on how to paint the jaw.
Sometimes I don’t narrow my focus down by parts of the painting. Sometimes I narrow down my focus by where I’m going to put a particular color. But again, I can’t be trying to figure out where I’m going to put my blue, and where I’m going to put my red, and where I’m going to put my purple all at the same time. I need to focus on where I’m going to put my blue and forget about the other colors for the time being. Once all the blue is where it should be, then I can move on.
So that’s my tip for you. Don’t try to focus on every aspect of your piece at once. Thank you so much for watching. Subscribe for videos, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and for live streams Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. I’ll see you all next time. Bye.
Painter of portraits and wildlife