Posted Aug 21st, 2012

Like most small businesses, we are taking on whatever kind of work we can find – some high quality and creative, some designed to keep revenue up. I LOVE high quality products, I truly do!  And even with some of the more remedial tasks that come my way, I wouldn’t put my name on something that I’m not proud to call my own creation.  Sometimes – ok a lot of the time – I find I need to take a risk and push through the frightening unknown. It allows me to improve as an artist, and not get stuck in a rut.

Blender Guru posted a great little article with 6 Tips on Becoming a Better Artist.  Tip #1Do Something that Scares You and #4 Brick Walls are Going to Happen are my favourites because I run into these problems daily.  Everything seems scary right now, and I’m crash into walls all the time. No, not literally (well maybe), but in the learning sense. A new obstacle means a new opportunity to learn. It’s my perseverance to keep a business running and my commitment to clients that pushes me past the uncomfortable parts.

I recently took on a digital illustration project a few months ago – a watercolour painting for a client.   I hadn’t touched watercolour in many years and was out of practice… so I offered to make a digital painting that looked like a watercolour instead.  I needed an opportunity to improve my painting skills, and this was just that project. The client – who also happened to be a friend – agreed. *insert ominous organ music here*

He sent me a bunch of photos along with a sketch of what he would like to see.  Take a look:

  Once he sent me these resources, I was ready to get started.  First, the sketch and then the colour block.

The colours were looking to drab, so we decided to boost them up and add bright, summery lighting.  Here is the final painting:

Kinda cool to see the project from start to finish, yes? I know my painting skills are a work in progress, but I also know that by taking on projects like this, I will continue to improve.  It seemed scary in the beginning and many times I had to force myself to turn off that voice that said:  “You really don’t have a clue what you are doing!!”.  In the end, my client was happy, his wife was happy and I got another piece to add to may portfolio. Win-Win! Woot!

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