Thursday, 7 February 2013

Before and After: Medusa

For this week's illustration (on my Facebook Page), I wanted to do something more than a doodle. After looking through old work, I decided to re-draw a painting from three years ago. Above is the end result of Medusa done in pin up. Final size is 7x9" done in Photoshop, total time around 8-9 hours.

Below is a before and after difference. The first painting (done with acrylics back in my final year of high school) was made in 2010. Normally not a huge time, but in illustrating, it's a century worth of progress. Once in a while I like to redo old work, or see how I've improved/things I need to work on. Through this process I realised (with this particular piece) that my lighting/shading has gotten better, but I really need to practise proportions. It's taking too much time and I almost always use references. Maybe I'll look at taking some figure drawing classes to get more comfortable with the human figure.

All in all, I'm satisfied with the results, and am happy to see my work going in the right direction. I guess what's important to take from this (if anything), is always ALWAYS continue to grow and improve. Self motivation is the best motivation, and the only way to get better is to PRACTISE. If you were to tell me three years ago that I could produce this work digitally with a tablet, I'd laugh. My beginnings with a tablet was mortifying, and my work was well below acceptable. Even now there's still so much I could improve on. It never really gets easier, but it's fun to look back and notice how you've changed as an artist!

Remember to keep on practising and have patience. Improvement doesn't happen over night, and it will never end. I don't think I'll ever be completely satisfied with my work, because I can always think of something to fix/change. And that's the beauty of illustration, you're always adapting and getting better.

There's no quick fix, there's no tutorials. There's only YOU and your self motivation. No other artist in the world can show you the "best" way to make art. You have to do what's right for you, and have the mindset to want to improve. Don't get stuck looking for the shortcuts. Put in the time and effort, and with the right mind set/self discipline, I guarantee your work can only get better.

Until next time.

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