Do you find it difficult to be loose in your art? I do (a lot).
A few days ago I was painting and I started to feel like all of my characters were looking too painted on. You know, like the girl looked like I’d cut her out and pasted her on top of an abstract background. I just couldn’t loosen up. There was no freedom or flow. Everything looked rigid and tight.
I’d been trying lots of new styles and characters. That always stops me from letting go. But if I don’t take that risk and just go for it, my artwork stays frozen in that ugly stage.
It takes making beautiful mistakes and happy accidents to get to the good stuff. It doesn’t just happen right away. I have to experiment, paint something completely imperfect, then keep following my joy and doing more of what I love.
I always look back at my past work to find what I love most about my art – maybe it’s the way the yellow ink stands out next to the blue green acrylic or the drip of fluorescent pink across the body. Then I repeat those elements in whatever I’m painting.
Often times, just having those few anchor points that I can use whenever I get stuck, helps me to overcome creative blocks, so I can be brave and let go.
This is a project that we’ll be painting in my newe online class, ENCHANTED – SOULFUL EYES AND FACES. In this painting preview, you’ll see how I create softness and shading in my eyes and faces, using layers of different art supplies to create depth and add character.
If you’re looking to keep your faces and eyes looking more carefree and organic, try using a water-soluble pencil to draw your features, then smudge out the lines with a little paint or water, letting your initial layers show through to create the illusion of definition, but with lots of softness.
Instead of adding a thick layer of solid paint color, add a transparent ink then dots of paint pen for variation (like I do in the video).