By in Art

My Portrait of Taz: Moving Past the Block

Ihad fretted so much and put the painting off for such a long time: I really "got my butt stuck in the mud", as they say here in the South. What would help?

YouTube, friends.

Watching other artists work, specifically painters--and especially Greg Simkins, an amazing illustrator who works with acrylics in a similar fashion (background first, building the nearer parts on top)--inspired me to "just do it". Since a painting made with an opaque medium like acrylic is built up in layers, whatever you put down on the canvas can be worked until it's right (there's an advantage over things like ink and watercolor, which are less forgiving). Layers can also add a much richer color and tone, as well. Even some texture, as well.

So, just like I tell people to simply write--put things down on paper (or on a screen) and tidy it up later--that works for painting, too. I just needed to go ahead and start painting. Put paint on the canvas and trust that I would get it sorted.

Trusting the process worked. It didn't matter that I couldn't really tell what was on the other side of the window. It was just background noise; it wasn't the focus of the painting. I started building the painting, laying in color for the background. I was trying to start getting the color more accurate than the initial lay-in, but it was also important to establish the correct shapes and tones, and work out the composition. The details would sort themselves out later. And as an artist, I didn't have to pay slavish attention to details - a painting is not a photograph. I had the advantage of being able to choose to adapt colors and textures to compliment and set off my subject.

I had some green left over from painting the pothos plant in the background, so I put some on Taz's eyes to get that area started, as well. You might be able to spot a bit of pale yellow that I also painted onto a lighter area.

I felt so much better after this session. It gave me a clear idea of what steps to take next, what areas I wanted to develop, and how I would do that.

Image Credit » My original artwork

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MegL wrote on January 14, 2023, 5:13 PM

A great way to break a creative block - just do SOMETHING. In some ways it doesn't matter what something, just get started. Glad you got past it.