For the fifth week report I decided to push the update back a few days to make the timing more convenient for me. That means this update covers ten days instead of seven.
After feeling more confident last week I found myself wanting to put more time into artwork and I think it paid off. The longest I’d spent on any one thing before this week was maybe 45 minutes. This week there were several things I put between 1 and 2 hours into. It seems like as you get more comfortable with art making, you continue to develop patience for longer and longer work because you can see how it will pay off.
That being said I had a couple items this week I think I put too much work into. Especially on the green watercolor with inking, there were parts where I felt I should not have put any ink and just let the watercolor be by itself. These mistakes are useful though because they lead to better understanding and more confidence.
For example, there were some fungi that I sketched and shaded with ink brushes in my sketchbook. I penciled them in and did some general ink outlining. Next, I colored in the background with an ink wash. But I as I started shading in the drawings with the brushes I felt the background wasn’t contrasting enough. I tried to darken it but since the darker ink wasn’t flowing as well, it left a busy texture. At first this felt better, but as I added detail to the drawings everything started to clash. I ended up trying to fix it by blacking out the background a bit.
What these mistakes helped me understand is the role of contrast between levels of detail. In these drawings background and foreground were competing for “eye time” and this made everything worse. For me, I connected this lesson with the usage of bokeh and depth of field in photography which serve to separate levels of detail. Now I feel I understand the concept better for both photos and drawing. It also gave me an appreciation for negative space art where the background might get the bulk of the detail.
I got some fountain pens this week which made really nice dark black lines. At first I was using them in sketches but I found myself wanting to doodle with them. I ended up doing some doodles similar to what you’d see on the Peter Draws YouTube channel. It was interesting to see how getting new supplies could affect my behavior. This isn’t an endorsement to partake in retail therapy but it seems like a good idea to experiment with new tools sometimes just to see what happens.
After doing a few things that took a while I found myself feeling a bit worn out. I did a few quick circle and line warmups with charcoal on newsprint. It quickly made me feel better. I think there’s something about doing large sketches quickly that is inherently satisfying. Even though they don’t look great it’s fun to sit down and just destroy some paper this way. Putting a lot of time into a piece and making it look really good is rewarding but I feel like that needs to be balanced with work that is satisfying to create.