Art has always been a part of my life in one form or another… it is only recently that have I intentionally made time to practice and improve my results.
It has become a borderline obsession. Some part every single day of the past 2 years, is spent studying my craft. If I am not working on a larger, complete piece, I am scrawling away in my sketchbook, watching other artists on YouTube, reading books on the old masters, or just spending the time to take in my surroundings and mentally decide which colours I would use and how I would depict the scene.
I have noticed a change in the way I see the world, yes I mean an actual change in my visual perception of the world. Colours are brighter and shadows are deeper and the highlights are brilliant. I see the way light bounces around objects, light bouncing inside shadows, the reflexion and refraction of light through a body of water… Of course my eyesight hasn’t improved (If anything, it’s getting worse as I age!!) but with practice I have learned to notice more of these little things that build up our visual world. I suppose it’s a bit like physical excercise, constant flexing of my perceptual muscles has made them stronger!
To test out these new muscles, this week I intentionally chose a subject that has been very difficult for me in the past. I have never before drawn a tiger I was happy with. All those stripes and the changing colours of the fur has always left me stumped, but having noticed a great improvement in my work lately, I thought I would “tackle the beast”again.
This time I can say I am truly happy with the results… There are a few areas I would have liked to do differently (but there always are) but overall I am proud to say this is one of mine. The image for this post shows the result of 19 months of solid, dedicated and deliberate practice. Judging by the difference, I can say that I cant wait to see what I can do 19 months from now!!
(here is the video I made of the recent tiger drawing. Learning to video as i work… now thats a whole new ball game!! more to come )