Fox it is!

A while back I asked on my Cultivating Creativity FB page for people to say what I should paint next. A giraffe, a tiger or a fox. It was simply a fun exercise for me and a way for me to extend myself by painting out of my comfort zone. The fox was my least favourite choice to paint, it’s just not an animal I connect with. But I thought perhaps I could give it a go. I thought painting the giraffe could be fun, and the tiger something a little challenging.

Everyone who commented suggested the fox. So, I painted the fox. Twice.

The first attempt I wasn’t at all happy with. I’d grabbed the wrong colour, though crazy colours do work with this technique, I just don’t feel it came together in this instance. I couldn’t get the nose right. It was a warm day and the paint was drying quickly making it tricky to do adjustments. At the end of the session, I just felt that I could do ‘better’ but not that day. about to start

The image I used for inspiration was in colour. I remembered that it should be in black and white in order to see clearly the low, mid and high tones. I copied my print of the fox into black and white. Got together my three favourite colours I like to paint with and I attempted to paint the fox again.

first attempt

I also decided not to try and rush, and gave myself permission to take as long as I needed. This time, it took my half the time to paint the fox. Giving myself as much time as I needed took the pressure off, and helped. Having the image in black and white also made a big difference to see the different tones better. And I’d painted the fox before, so I had some experience to draw on.

This is the first time I’ve gone back and painted the same subject again because I wanted to ‘improve’ the outcome, and my skill set. Because of these benefits I’m even tempted to try to paint the fox for a third time. For now, I’ve got lots of other subjects to paint, so a third re-visit isn’t in the near future, but might happen one time. What I can do, is apply what I’ve learnt here not just to other animal paintings in this style (I’m sure I’ll do the giraffe and tiger at some stage). second attempt

second attempt finished

The painting of the fox serviced a bigger purpose, of also making me more aware of my process, so it has been a good exercise to do. And despite good intentions, creative projects don’t always work out well the first time, and that it all part of the process.

Now, onto the next project! (which is to re-paint a rose!)

foxes painted

Pomegranates

For various reasons I stopped art class for a few months, just sometimes there are other things which need attention. I’ve returned to art classes for the three lessons at the end of the term to complete the Intermediate level.

The usual block wasn’t there for me. I wasn’t feeling as critical towards my art or self-conscious or worried whether or not I’d create a mess or not. I even went straight into a small painting of a pomegranate, no sketching beforehand, just marking out the outline with a paintbrush and a little watered down Alizarin red. I’ve never done anything like that before. I wasn’t nervous, critical or even doubting myself. I stepped up, and outlined in paint, then I got painting. What had changed?

pomegranateMaybe I feel a little more familiar with drawing and painting. I wasn’t attached to the outcome, because I wasn’t trying to be perfect first up and I wasn’t trying to produce a masterpiece. All I wanted to do was to finish this small painting in one lesson as best I could.

Reflecting on how I felt, I also noticed that I was more connected to my art, just as it came out, just as it was. I wasn’t tyring to force the process, but simply be. Without being critical about my art or doubting myself I could also be more connected to it, find the flow and let it out in whatever way that was going to be.

It was a more harmonious process. It was refreshing not to have an internal tug of war with myself. This particular art class marked a turning point in my painting journey. Before I was so out of my comfort zone, but now less so to the point where I could begin to enjoy myself and not be crippled by fear and doubt.

This was also the first time I’d been more aware of this change during a creative journey. In the past I’ve not been so self-aware. By being self-aware of the process I can ensure I repeat this positive outcome in the future when trying new writing projects or any new creative project. my painting

And of course it’s a gentle reminder to keep persisting.

Has there been a time when you were completing a creative project and you noticed a shift in how you connected with your art? Please share below.

Lilliana Rose

rose clipart

www.lillianarose.com

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