Another snowy day here. It is only mid December and I am already tired of cold and snow. They are forecasting another big snow storm for Indiana today, but hopefully the worst will be far north of us. The old Farmer’s Almanac said a warmer than normal winter for us – I’m still waiting.
I’m almost finished with my latest piece. It is a pen and ink with mostly watercolor overlay and a little touch of colored pencil. It is in the let and sit phase now. I have found, over the years, that I need to take breaks during the creative process to let the art side of my brain clear. After I draw something out I need to let it sit for a day and then go back to it for inking. What looked fine the day before will often look distorted the next day. If I am working on drawing out something very complicated I get so bound up in it that I can’t really “see” it any more. After a few hours of drawing in the basic sketch, I get attached to the way it looks and can no longer judge it. I really need to clear out the image from my mind. Often it means just minor adjustments, but sometimes something is glaringly wrong and I get the chance to fix it before I ink. Ink is VERY unforgiving. I usually take a day or two for the inking on a small picture and maybe several more on something larger. I want to get into a flow, but not overdo it because once again I can get too attached to how it is proceeding. The same goes for the color overlay, whether I am using pastel, watercolor, colored pencil, or a combination of the above.
It can take 3-7 days for a project to be completed. Not as long as it seems for the actual work , but because I need to have time to evaluate each stage as I go along. It is hard for me to be a stream of consciousness artist. The work flows when my brain is in gear, but I tend to get too attached to it without the breaks. Finally, when I think the color is done, I again let it sit for a day or two to see if it needs adjustment. The real difficulty is deciding that enough is enough and not to overwork it.
I’ll post the work this week when I finish my last looks. I hope to have it up in my shop on Etsy by the end of the week. Today I’ll put up some of my animal art. I find alternating between the animal art and the architectural art is refreshing for me.