Progress 09-11-11

At my watercolors class last night I asked for advice on how to continue my autumn-themed painting. More specifically, I asked how to mimic the texture of fur in watercolor. Like everything else with this medium it requires patience and many, many layers. I have a long way to go with this one but look forward to having something a bit mindless to work away on. My bear is looking furrier already!

Bear Skin Progress

Bear Skin Progress

Despite seemingly catching every single sickness that has been going around and losing many of my evenings and weekends, I have finally finished painting the foo dog end tables! Forgive the horrible cell phone photos here, I will update them later when I have my DSLR and better light handy.

Female Foo Dog End Table finished!

Female Foo Dog End Table finished!

Pair of Foo Dog Tables

Pair of Foo Dog Tables

I like the female foo dog table so much I almost don’t want to give it away. I think it really shows that I knew what I was doing more with that table, but they both still look great together. As for number of hours spent on this project I really have no idea. When you factor in the research I did to be able to draw these creatures confidently, and the color experimentation, and the copic illustrations, sanding down the tables, gessoing the tables and getting on with painting them I’d wager there are 30 hours or more in these.

This project brought me a lot of enjoyment and as much as I try to get away from emotional attachment to my works, with these I feel proud. When I was younger and just getting into drawing and inking illustrations I put a lot of pressure on myself; I was afraid that if I messed up whatever I was working on I’d never be able to do something that good again. I think a lot of beginner artists feel this way and it seriously impedes progress. It took me a really long time to get over myself, so to speak, and let go of that. Right now, all of my drawings and paintings are stepping stones. If I mess up, so what? I’ll paint over it, erase it, draw right on top of it until I get it right and if I hate what I’m working on, I’ll finish it and move on. I don’t expect everything I create to be awesome, but unless I keep working at it I will never get any better.

These tables were a great project. They allowed me sort of get a feel for how professional graphic artists work: planning, research, drafts, etc. When I first started out I became quickly frustrated because I have little experience drawing animals. It took me numerous sketches to start to understand proportions and get a feel for them. This was made even more difficult because almost every artist has a different way of drawing a foo dog or chinese lion but after hours of practice and scribbling I came up with illustrations I was happy with. By the time I was ready to paint on the tables I had a clear vision of what I wanted and painted confidently.

I like the idea of having art on furniture; even if there’s no room left on the walls it will have a practical place in the home. This kind of thing is absolutely something I would do again! Once yard-saling season rolls around again, I’m there! I may go a bit smaller in terms of an object (perhaps a jewelry box?) but then again, painting large is so much more fun and satisfying in the end.

This weekend I’d like to hash out another still life, this time something mechanical in nature. Having another long weekend ahead should give me lots of time. Perhaps I’ll even revisit my poor neglected Close-study…

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