As an artist, one must always be in the mindset of promoting an art skill upgrade. In creative work, more than any other field, it seems that importance of growing must always be at the forefront. As I start each piece, work through their individual challenges and complete the finals I must always be pushing my limits and developing my skills. It almost seems like each stroke of the pencil or flick of the brush can teach us more about how to create and mold our thoughts into beautiful images.
But it was Robert Beverly Hale that put the importance of technique into perspective with his book “Drawing Lessons from the Great Masters”. While he stressed the utmost importance of practicing technique, there is much more then technical ability. Robert stated that ultimate goal of all that practice is so the mind can handle all of the technical work within the subconscious, leaving us free to use our art to convey the message we want to share. This is the true ultimate goal to any artwork and any artist.
Here I have three more pieces that taught me so much and represent huge breakthroughs in my somewhat adolescent development as an artist. New work as an artist is always more then “this one is cooler then the last”, it represents ability, technique, struggles and everything else that pours out of me as I work.
Art Skill Upgrade | Perspective
Lady of the Lake:
This first piece represents early development with a lot of new idea. An art skill upgrade in perspective and utilizing reference. It was an exploration of new angles, new lighting techniques and my narrative ability. While I still really love this piece because of what it means to me, I can see how I have progressed beyond what is conveyed in this image. That leads me to add it to the list of stepping stones that pushed me to where I am today. It may no longer be needed but was essential in my career.
Art Skill Upgrade | Reworking
Medusa and Perseus:
I can’t tell you how many hours I spent working on this piece and then going back and reworking every aspect of it. This pushed me to upgrade my art skill more than any other piece at the time. As I look at it now, I see the different areas completed and reworked at different times, throughout the piece. But in the end one can only use technique so much to change what a piece is, we must always move forward. You can play with a few new skills and polish up old work for sure, but in the end the efforts and struggles you will face with an entirely new piece are the things that will help to grow leaps and bounds.
Art Skill Upgrade | Color & Light
The Last Unicorn:
This is another piece that has endured several rounds of polish at different times in my career. In the end I love the idea and how it played out but would much rather start a fresh new one then work from this base. I love the angles the colors and the placements but when it came to painting technique I was more interested in using my new skills and less interested in whether or not I should. I know another painting of “The Last Unicorn” is in my mind, but for now this one will simply be a long cherished past love. Maybe after another art skill upgrade or two.