Whenever I’m stuck with my art, I look back at the progress photos from a past painting.
Most of the time, my character looks nothing like it did when I started. It takes lots of beautiful mistakes and so many ugly stages before I can even begin to figure out the best posture, profile and facial gestures.
Yet as I create, my mind tells me I should get it right on the first try (but that never happens).
Sometimes I’ll get to a point in my painting where I just want to paint over the entire thing. This especially happens when I’m pushing myself to try something new.
But I try and remember, it’s not about getting that one painting to be perfect. If I let go, it might just lead me to trying something else or making a beautiful mistake. It doesn’t mean I can’t paint or that I’ll never paint anything I love again.
Oftentimes just returning to my favorite colors and techniques whenever I get stuck, helps me to overcome these creative blocks, so I can be brave and paint with freedom again.
In this video preview from my Joy Of Painting online class you’ll see how I make my characters pop in my paintings – creating with oil paintsticks, acrylics, inks, pencil, pen and papers. This project is created on aquabord.
If I paint over something again and again, I know I’ve stopped having fun. Instead, I’m usually trying to make my paintings perfect. That’s when I have to go back to painting more freely. I experiment with new colors and art supplies. I drip inks and allow my water-soluble pencil to bleed out, even on the eyes. I let my faces and features be weird and wonky. I accept the imperfections and a whole new world opens up. It all reminds me to be a little kinder to myself and have more fun with my art.
It’s taken a lot of paintings, successes and mistakes to know what works best for my creative process and style. If you’d like to learn more ways to paint freely and develop your own unique artistic voice, I’ve put together my Joy Of Painting online workshop. Click here for all the details.