The wobbly hands of being out of practice

A few days ago I sat down to draw a picture off the top of my head “I used to be able to do this so why not now?”.  I’ve had varying level of success and would definitely say I’m sitting through a bought of artist’s block. The only way to get through Artist’s block though is to keep working though.  So page after page of ugly doodles I persisted.

Eventually, my brain realized “You’re struggling with legs right now especially, and it’s getting you in a funk, which is making production go down. There’s a solution you know.  A wonderful legless solution: Mermaids”

So I decided I was going to make an exaggerated anatomically loose mermish figure and I’m really happy with the result.

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Bam, confidence boost to get me through to improvementville.

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So my goal at this point, is to improve my drawing and at the same time improve my inking.  So With this image, I decided to practice inking it on multiple styles of paper and colouring it markers vs paint etc.

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Now I don’t have a light table, so I didn’t manage to transfer it quite as well as I would have liked but it’s my first draft and I can always improv.  The important bit is it is now on bristol and ready to be inked.

I don’t know why I was as nervous as I was to ink it, but I could feel the unsteadiness in my hands.  I still have the original sketch and a ton of paper, so it’s no big deal to restart, but dear goodness was my age old fear of messing it up coming on strong. I think I procrastinated starting for about 2 hours before just putting pen to paper and playing come what may.  And you know what, I made lots of mistakes, but once they were made it didn’t worry me. The fear of the mistakes was more crippling than the mistakes themselves.

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So you can see I definitely didn’t pick a light source and think through line weight enough before I started.  And there are spots were the pen got away from me and just did it’s own thing.  My hand was also so shaky the whole time that any thin lines were barely able to make it on the paper.  I may have also skipped breakfast today, which might account partially for the shaky hands. I’ve been dreaming of pizza bites for the last 4 hours.

So I’ve messed up in almost every respect. Dragged my wrist through a wet spot, uneven lines, no light source, gave distant objects thick lines, and lost control over the pen constantly; but I love it.

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Fear of messing up has always been my most crippling downfall in my artwork and I need to stop letting it call the shots.  So I’ve planned to reink this woman until either I get tired of her, confident with my skills, or really busy at work.

As a child I would copy a drawing from the book, and photocopy it each step of the way before adding a new line.  I have a million copies of every drawing with each line, each mistake and every insecurity.  If I continue being so worried I’ll mess everything up, i’ll never make it to the next level.

I’ve taken the first step and now it’s time to put on my silly 80’s spandex and do that weird stepping aerobicizing until that step is too small.

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