With todays batch of thumbnails, I decided to play around with colours in ProCreate after photographing the pencil sketch. Colour theory is something I’ve always had trouble with as well, but the nice thing about experimenting with digital colouring is the ability to modify tonal values with relative ease. You still have to know your colours in order for the work to look ‘right’ (and I don’t know them very well, which is why these look a bit off), but it gives you a fair amount of leeway to just play around and see what’s working.
This was the pencil sketch before I took it to ProCreate:
I’m not entirely sure why my pictures are uploading so low res on WordPress- ever since I downgraded to a cheaper plan I’ve been noticing these irksome little things. Anyhow, part of the reason I’m tentatively applying colours is because I really do want to experiment with the graphic novel form. I have a backlog of ideas that I want to explore in illustrated narrative form, and while going with a limited colour palette as a stylistic choice is perfectly alright, I don’t want to be forced into it because of a lack of experience and skill. Whilst colouring I remembered how much I adore earthy, sanguine- sepia shades, offset by muted blues and blue- greens.
To that effect, I’ve been playing around with very rough, sketchy tools that behave unpredictably- trying to find ways of mark making that have character. This has been especially fun to explore given my recent commitment to speed and producing work quickly within a set number of minutes. There are times for taking things slow (oil painting comes to mind) but the thrill of sketching fast is its own joy. Besides, the faster I draw, the more I produce in the same time, and the faster I get out the bad drawings and paintings and get to the good ones worth developing.
One of the things that has helped me push past my art block tremendously is just accepting that I don’t need to meet the standards I’ve set for myself. With finished pieces, client work, or other professional work, sure- but not for sketches and everyday work. I’ve started to think of progress as my worst drawings getting better as much as my best drawings getting better. I figure- if you draw something you have trouble with fifty times, learning something new on each try, then the fiftieth attempt will be markedly better than the first. That’s just how human beings learn and develop their skills, and unless I’m some alien creature, that logic applies to me, too. Not that I’m going at a rate of fifty drawings a day- I’m aiming for 6-10 sketches, at the moment, to avoid burnout. Still.
Progress is maybe the sweetest feeling in life. It’s like levelling up and unlocking new abilities in video games, except that it’s happening in real life.