Better known as: “the year I fell in love with working on a portrait canvas”.
This picture sums up a lot of themes of the year: night scene, fan art, greyscale, and figuring out how I feel about line vs shading vs texture. I don’t know that I have a handle on any of them yet. But… you gotta just make a lot of art, right?
Another big goal of mine this year (every year?) was to draw more active scenes. I love a peaceful painting as much as anyone else, but I really wanna learn to create big bold dynamic compositions. Also I like drawing horses and thundery sunsets.
Some months I finish a lot of pieces, other months I don’t. March was a not-so-much month. But I love Morgana and this piece gave me a lot of confidence in my ability to capture likenesses, which was really useful later on in the year. Spoilers for August.
Fan art for Sara’s Girl’s Scurrilous. Something about this piece just really really clicked. It felt right. Basically everything greyscale I’ve done since then has been an attempt to build on this.
And also to build on this. I had a good two months here. This is maybe my fave pic of the year. Do you know how long I spent trying to draw a snake that felt solid and fit nicely in the composition and just generally worked?! It was ages. Maybe forever. Worth it though.
This was actually based on a sketch from 2016 that I never rendered then because I couldn’t quite figure it out. This year I sucked it up and finished it, and it turned out pretty cool. So yay.
Look at ALL THOSE PEOPLE. I had never drawn a piece with this many overlapping characters before. The logistics of it were really tricky and so even though it has a lot of flaws I’m super proud of how ambitious it is. Shout out to Renoir bc I spent ages staring at this piece while sketching out the scene.
Kinda cheating to put them both here but I don’t care. These guys (Nancy Wake & Elizabeth Blackburn) are gonna be in a book ( LINK TO BOOK !!!) to be published by Penguin Random House next year. These portraits basically took over my life in August, and also forced me to use colour, and it was great. Anyway, highlight of the year 🙂
September was quiet. I was stressed out by the postal survey. And various other nonsense. But I made some cute pictures anyway so here is one of them.
Inktober! I learned a lot, even if I didn’t really create any work I’d wanna put in my portfolio. This was my fave. Reminding myself that specificity is central to making good art, and real life can provide tons of inspiration. Though I also strained my hand making this so… that’s another lesson for next time.
After Inktober I had a desperate desire to do something in colour. Lots of colour. I’ve also been playing around with the idea of creating depth this year – trying to see what spaces I can create. And this is what came out of that.
I’m away for the second half of December (hence posting this now) and most of the first bit of December was spent doing Not Art for a bunch of reasons. But this piece was new and difficult (a bird?! from that angle?! in armour?!) and I’m really really really still trying to work on dramatic action pieces. So I’m glad I finished this at least.
One of the weird things about art is that you don’t always feel like you’re improving. Sometimes it even feels like you’re going backwards. But I look at this post compared with last year’s and I know I’ve improved a lot. Again. Just like every other year. So that’s cool.