Early this year I had found that my style, although ‘good’ was getting stagnant. For me, the difficulty with art has always been getting over the feeling of ‘It’s not good enough’.
This can be a huge stumbling block; you have a beautiful image in your head, but when trying to put it to paper, it doesn’t look right. The result is frustration and a lack of motivation, especially when improvement does not feel quick enough.
In the past few years, I have done a better job of shedding this feeling. My mantra has been ‘something is better than nothing’. The fact I am creating at all means each time, I am learning something, and I have tried to focus on the positive aspects of this.
Since starting Twitch six months ago, I have used the platform as an opportunity to try new techniques and styles of art. I wanted to consciously try things I wouldn’t usually think of and work faster. I have done this by taking requests through Twitch and limiting myself to only 3 hours to both conceptualise and complete those requests.
Through this process, I have felt more certain about what mediums and subject matters I do and don’t like. I’m at a point now where I think I can move onto the ‘next phase’ of my art and start taking longer per piece.
Current style and technique
My current style exists somewhere between manga – much more suggestive with a focus on linework rather than shadow – and traditional comics, with stronger features and shadows. For years, I had drawn in a strictly manga style, and even though I do not consciously do this any more, it shows that I used to. My favourite artists are Alphonse Mucha, Adam Hughes, Junko Mizuno and Kuvshinov Ilya. I think you can tell my style exists somewhere between all of these artists!
I want to continue: Pastels and watercolours (mixed media)
This is a new technique I have tried only twice, but immediately I’m really enjoying it. Between the two pieces I have created I’m already seeing vast improvement, and want to continue this. The downside is watercolour paper is a bit pricey and I feel wasteful if I were to just practice, so at the moment, I am taking longer on these pieces. I think this is what I’m going to continue to use as my technique for more ‘formal’ pieces.
I want to continue: Copic marker
I have owned markers for a number of years, but only this year did I really try them properly. The result is something very enjoyable. My main stumbling block has been finding a pen for lining with that I both like and does not bleed with the Copics. My lining leaves a lot to be desired; it’s something I’ve been consciously focusing on improving, though. I recently purchased a bunch of new fancy lining pens I’m keen to try out!
I want to continue: Digital painting
For the moment, I feel like I have made minor progress in my digital painting. I’m faster than I used to be. Previously, I was making excessive layers and taking 8-12 hours per piece. Now, I am achieving something acceptable in 3 hours, with less layers. Technique-wise, I’ve seen little improvement, and this is an area to work on. I would like to be able to make large, confident strokes, same for the shadows and colours. I like the convenience of digital art, as it’s free (no material costs) and so I will probably continue to use digital for those applications.
These are going to be my three areas of focus from now on, especially mixed media, as I have a lot of fun doing it and think the results are worth the time!