I started a new gouache painting the other day, and I’m hoping to take into account some very good points from the comments in the last post. Nope, ink over gouache is just not where it’s at.
You might wonder why I even bothered in the first place, expecially now that my first version seems so painfully cartoony. I would just drop the whole pen + ink thing and try to be a painter, except that I happen to really like sketching. More honestly, I like my sketches, and liking my own work is not something that happens automatically.
Ever since we started going out (over the phone!), husband has been perplexed by the fact that a self-styled artist/illustrator could hate 75% of her drawings. And I couldn’t deny that he had a point–I mean, why would someone who hates public speaking become a teacher?
Most times, when I finally decide that a piece is finished and put down the paintbrush/pen for the last time, my first reaction is to rip the whole thing to shreds. So, I have to put it away for a day or two and try to calm down.
There are times when sleep itself does the trick…most things really do look better in the morning. But there are other times when it has taken me months to come to a point of grudging acceptance, and still others when I never like that particular work. At all. And then I wonder why I spent all that time sitting at my table painting instead of talking with friends or reading books or walking the dog.
Part of it must be the compulsion to paint that Lauren describes very eloquently on her Etsy page. Sometimes, you just gotta draw.
But I don’t think that’s enough to keep me going. Every once in a while, I have to draw something that I like. Something that I think is good, even if it’s not technically perfect. That makes me smile and want to stick my neck out by saying “I did this well,” even if it opens me up to criticism.
I feel this way about my little sketches sometimes, but very rarely about my larger finished pieces. Somehow, my brain and hand seize up as soon as I decide that something is the final version. The one that everyone is going to see, and that one person might want to buy! When I know that the drawings can be safely tucked away in my notebook, the pen moves freely around the page–but not so when I think I might show it to someone else.
So that’s why I keep trying to find a way to take the paint that I like and the ink that I like and make the two live happily together. It might take a while, and I might have to work at it in a roundabout way. But I’m going to make it work someday.
And if you have any suggestions, please please please let me know!
Thank you again for your input this week, and I hope you have a lovely weekend. :)