In an effort to give you more insight on my process as an artist, I’ve decided to add a new section to my blog this year. I’m going to share with you in progress shots of my work and the trails and tribulations that sometimes go along with projects I take on.
To kick things off, I’m going to share with you a landscape painting project that has been over a year in the making. I normally don’t take that long to work on something for many reasons, but this particular project required that time. As an artist, I sometimes feel like I walk a fine line between confidence and overestimating my abilities. That might sound strange, but let me explain. I don’t usually ever say that I can’t draw or paint something. There are definitely things I am better at than others, but I don’t like to use the word “can’t”. I view subjects I haven’t attempted before as opportunities to learn and improve my skill set. Also, it’s not that I am physically incapable of doing it, it just might take some research or practice.This is where the overestimation sometimes creeps in. I still have a standard for my work and I want to make sure especially when I am doing work that is a commission that I am giving my client the best work possible. When I offered to do an open subject matter painting as a wedding present for my good friends, I didn’t think they would pick something that would challenge me more than I had anticipated. As it turns out, painting water and crashing waves are a little harder than I thought.
So what do you do when you realize that you’re not sure you know how to paint something? Well, you do what any non-quitter does and look up resources on how to do it. 🙂 Over the process of the next little while I looked up online tutorials and even did a paint night with friends where the subject was a beach scene to try and get some insight. Luckily, time was on my side since my friends were quite patient and weren’t expecting to have it right away. I definitely painted a few parts over and over, which is a fortunate and forgiving attribute of acrylic paint.I believe that with artwork, sometimes things happen at the time they are supposed to. If I had rushed this painting and tried to finish it before I had the time to really figure things out, I don’t think I would have been happy with the result. I also, in good faith could not have given it to my friends. This painting is a little larger than I tend to work at 36×24 inches. I used a combination of 4 different photos I took in Mexico at the wedding to create the piece, which can always be a little challenging. The lighting in all the photos was slightly different because when I took them initially I didn’t know I would be using them to create a singular piece until we decided on the composition a few months later. While I used these photos fairly closely I also need to do some interpretation to unify the lighting. Overall, I’m really happy with how the painting turned out in the end and my friends seem to be really happy as well. Having realized the need to improve this area of my skill set was a valuable experience for me and really pushed me to learn something new.