The Good, the bad and the Ugly….

I think this could be a fun blog post, and it’s good to air some skeletons hidden in every artists closet, or maybe it is just mine!

Everything you see on my website is polished, pretty much perfectly executed and I am happy with. Well probably not totally in my eyes, but then I think artists are never completely happy, we are always striving to improve. Nature of the beast!

But what about when ART GOES WRONG! Oh I can tell you it does a lot! You don’t get to see that do you? Only the good stuff, never the bad or the ugly, destined for my trash! We artists are sensitive by nature, well aren’t most of us, and it’s hard to take crit, constructive or not. We have to learn though, and I like many hide our bloopers, never to see the light of day.

My pastel pet portraits, don’t very often go wrong, I won’t lie, so there isn’t much to show there, but since I have been doing the watercolour paintings there have been lots more that I am ashamed to show!

One example where I had to do a restart was Mischief’s portrait in watercolours. I knew roughly what I wanted in my head and the layout of colours, but pretty quickly I decided I didn’t like the way the waterolours had blended or worked. I didn’t even get as far as finishing with them.

The photo below is a far as I got with his portrait. It’s funny, you may look at it and wonder what on earth could be wrong with it, and sometimes even now I think maybe it would have been OK, but I tend to go with my gut instinct with these things.

Below is a watecolour horse portrait I started. Same sort of colour as Mischief, but again, I felt they didn’t blend right. Not enough contrast and almost blended too much that he looked flat. I didn’t bother with the pen and started again. If I am perfectly honest I am not very happy with the one I did finish either. Knowing my stubborness I will keep revisiting it until I am happy. I never like any painting to get the better of me! I am also not very practised in watercolour horse portraits, so that may explain why. Something I definitely need to work on!

I might keep this blog post going with my disasters. I think it is fun to make comparisons, and I can also look back and see how my style develops and changes as I go!

This poodle is another I am not sure on. The colours seem a little dull and the same as all the rest. I need to break out of my comfort zone and try some different colour combinations. It’s funny, I used to, but not so much anymore. I think being tired and very stressed can kill the creativity quite a lot too!

It’s a bad phone photo in bad light which doesn’t help the look of the portrait either. Anyway I have decided push through with the paintong with my black pen and see how I feel later! It’s amazing how the black pen changes these!

I am absolutely delighted I did push through with this poodle portrait. Honestly it’s amazing the difference a bit of pen and some daylight can make. Admittedly I felt it was too dark and added some white acrylic hightlights, but I am really pleased.

The dog portrait is actually now sold. This is a good lesson to myself and other artists out there to sometimes push through the so called ugly stage. Also what doesn’t appeal to you may appeal to someone else. As I have said before we are own worst critics!

Fenton, poodle portrait

Meet the handsome Fenton, he will be winging his way to a new home tomorrow!

I also managed to scan the horse paintibg in. It’s funny how popular it has been on Facebook when I wasn’t overly keen on it. I have to say the little stallion is growing on me slowly. He is also for sale if you are interested in him. He measure 8×8 inches and I can frame or not.

I tried all my recent watercolour paintings out in a frame I had in stock. You can see below.

I will put these the right way round when I get on my laptop. Below you can see the scan of the stallion too.

I still have a real soft spot for the tiger though oh and they are still all without names/titles! Feel free to make suggestions!

Well there you go. I learnt two things I have spoken about in this post are definitely true.

  1. Even if you don’t like something, it is more than likely someone else will
  2. It really is worth following through with a painting until the end, or if it really has gone wrong don’t give up until you get it right!

I painted a lion portrait the other night. I was getting very frustrated. It didn’t look right with the watercolours. I don’t know why they just didn’t seem to work well together even though I have used this combination again and again. I left it and left it and even started with some black, but no.

As is usual of late I can’t sleep so I decided to revisit this beast, but try a wholr new colour combination. Another fairly limited palette of 3 colours apart from a hint of purple for the nose. A prussian green, may green and a golden yellow. I am so much happier with the outcome.

However it has left me with another dilemma. Whether to outline in black or the prussian green. An artists dilemma right there. A good one to have, I think!

It’s busy drying now and I will decide in the morning.

I also sold the horse portrait tonight. The one I didn’t like, the improved one. But still not keen on. He and the tiger are off to a new home on Monday. I hope my lion will find a home soon too!

Photos to follow tomorrow

I have discovered the last few days that my watercolours definitely follow my mood. I don’t mean dark colours reflect a dark, depressive mood and bright a cheerful mood. I mean in the sense, whether I can actual produce anything that is worth sharing! If I am down or emotionally struggling which I have a bit recently they tend not to come together at all. I have to draw a line under them and wait until the next day or emotionally I am feeling better.

This was pretty much the case for this gorgeous pony’s portrait, Dollar. My client told me what colours they would like, similar to Blaze’s dog portrait. That’s straightforward enough I though. How wrong was I? 5 attempts it took me to get it right, and if I am perfectly honest I am still not happy. See, we are our own worst critics! I am not even going to show you my disasters, they aren’t even worth taking up space on this blog. However, I will show you the final version. The one my client was happy with. So really all is well that ends well.

Dollar, pony portrait in watercolours. Reds, oranges, purples and pinks have been used to paint this lovely pony's portrait.