Recently I adopted a new routine at the start of every art piece. It’s part of the development process for any good piece of art.
In high school I took Visual Arts as a subject. I loved every minute of it – except the preliminary conceptual sketches. These were smaller sketches that acted as practice for the bigger artworks. They consisted of elements similar to that of the main subject matter used as your final project. I felt they were just a waste of time, something asked of us only to bring about migraines and stress.
But now I see the value in them that I had been skimping on before.
I had started the outline sketches for a new portrait when I was overwhelmed by a feeling of inadequacy.
I suddenly felt as though there was no artistic ability left within me, I was overwhelmed with the project at hand seeing only how far I was from finished. Of course this was all in my head, a worry reflex I seem to have, that kicks in at the start of anything.
I then remembered the concept of preliminary sketches and decided (as a productive form of procrastination) I would paint a few small eye studies to ease myself in.
And it worked. I managed to finish a few 10×10 acrylic on canvas studies of what were in my opinion crystal clear eyes. Not only did I realize I hadn’t suddenly forgotten how to paint but I also discovered a new patience, technique and ‘eye’ for detail (pun intended).
Sometimes the little things make a big difference and the tiny eye portraits I now have hanging around the house make me happy to do what do.