Tuesday, July 27, 2010





A while ago (like..... 6 months ago, at least) a friend of mine wanted to commission me to do a some artwork for him. He sent me an email with a picture he had taken that he wanted me to draw or paint. Since he's a friend, I didn't want to charge him too much for it, so I decided a colored pencil drawing would be the way to go. It's faster than painting (I don't have to do zillions of layers and there is no drying time) so I wouldn't have to spend as many hours on it, therefore, could charge less.

I had a few other projects lined up (and always have at least 10 at the forefront of my head that I am itching to do) and he assured me there was no rush on it. I knew the drawing would be difficult as it's quite different from anything I've ever done before... so, yes, part of me was just putting it off because I was scared. It's a photo of some ducks swimming across a little pond with lots of trees and branches in the background. So, yes, it was nature. Yes, there was lots of green in it. Of course I thought I could handle it! If I do indeed have artistic talent, I can draw or paint ANYthing, right?

I wanted to succeed. I wanted to break out of my comfort zone and draw something besides a close-up photo of a flower or a bug or Louis Armstrong. Plus, if I want to actually make a career out of being an artist, I'm going to occasionally have to draw or paint things that I wouldn't necessarily choose myself.... Right?

I only worked on the drawing for an hour and a half this morning. The time was spent in a vicious cycle of me putting the pencils down, looking forlornly at the drawing, knowing deep down that it was going nowhere. Then picking up the pencils again, not wanting to admit defeat, but to see this drawing finished and force my way through it and learn new things along the way.

In just an hour and a half I did learn things. What I learned was, KNOW YOUR LIMITS. Sure I would love to become a professional and do art full time and make a living from it. But a professional wouldn't take on projects they know they can't handle. They specialize in something and do the damn best they can at it. They don't go guessing their way through to a half-assed pitiful looking end result that just ends up being a waste of time.

Would you ask Paul McCartney to write and perform Gangsta Rap?

So there it sits.
An incomplete drawing with approximately a completed 4-inch-square section of pure mess. I thought for a moment and wondered if I should try painting it instead? I looked around in the art-supply-closet and found an extra 11"x14" canvas. I took it out and set it next to the drawing. Now I'm considering trying to paint it instead. I don't know if that means I'm committed or persistent or just a dumbass.

1 comment:

Mark said...

Sammy Sams, don't get down on yourself. Try to finish the drawing just for practice. You are a great artist and I am sure everyone agrees. Next time, I will make you do a Bob Ross. Happy trees...

:O) ~hug~