As an artist, facing an empty piece of paper is always daunting. Even worse is making that last brushstroke and seeing all the things that you could have changed. I don’t think there’s anyway to avoid that feeling, but it can be reduced. A lot of problems at the end would have been easier to solve in the beginning. As we have learned by trial and error do not half-bake your art.
Any idea sounds like a groundbreaking masterpiece at first. But as you go along things can fall-apart along the way. When you analyze the problems after completing a painting, what went wrong was the fundamental structure. The idea wasn’t thought through, the design wasn’t solidified, or perspective or value wasn’t drawn correctly. These errors are near impossible to repair with final glazes. The sooner you can fix your mistakes, the better. It’s always tragic to erase a lovely detailed part or a drawing because you put it there as an after thought.
Tyra and I make narrative paintings, so we start with stories. Our ideas for narrative and composition get more fleshed out as we go along but we like to start out with an idea of what we want. As a painting is worked more questions get raised, what does the environment look like, what is the lighting, what is the subject wearing. We have found through painful painful error that it is best to answer these questions as soon as possible. If you notice something is not turning out successfully, that’s not the time to procrastinate. Go ahead and change it while it’s easier to do so. Going further won’t make that part go away.
We try our best to have the best art we can. Every time we draw and paint we treat it as if it is going to be the best thing we’ve made. Not every thing will be successful, but that’s okay. Even when we catch errors in finished work the important thing is that we learned something from it. If you forget to add something in your painting and notice it later, that artwork will always be there to remind you not to forgot about that aspect the next time you paint.
- Taisa Willoughby