If you’ve tried any form of art, be it painting or writing or poetry, you know that very rarely will you love what you produce the first time. Practice is the only way to steady our hands at these things.
How lazy we are to practice! How we groan internally as we think of spending time repeating the same techniques, over and over and over and over—
If you soldier through it and avoid comparing yourself to posts on social media by people at more advanced levels–remember one of the rules I set for myself: You don’t need to show your work to anyone…
Practice, do it for yourself, and resist the urge to speed through in order to impress someone else—especially if you know you’re not at a level that’ll impress much. For this season of learning, it is vital that you keep sacred your practice time.
This is the unpolished diamond; it will take a long time to polish, but boy it is rough!
I feel like I am on a cloud. For the first time, I have finished a painting for which my brain seemed to get the equation right.
A little sketching here, make the bird round and not starved-looking…the flowers’ shading done like so…and most of all, no overdoing it. I don’t have talent with wet-on-wet washes to cover the page, so I will save those for another day.
Yesterday I tried to draw a bird perching on a Canterbury Bell, a beautiful flower which only grew once in my garden. I made the mistake of trying to finish it with a yellowish wash, and guess what happened? Color began to bleed out of the flowers in a way that, in my eyes, does not even look “watercolor charming.”
I despaired upon realizing that the paint had dried. I couldn’t fix the color or stop it from bleeding out of the flower; I had no choice but to let it be.
However, as I prepared to go to bed, I decided this would not be the end of it. I liked my idea of a bird on a Canterbury Bell and was determined to paint one and get it right!
Birds are fun to draw! I like to imagine their facial expressions, their thoughts, and hope to become good enough that I can start a webcomic.
Here is the result of my practicing and stubbornness. First I learned to paint flowers; then I learned the basics for painting birds. Combined, they resulted in something with which I am so happy that I signed it. M. Hunt—fitting, because my grandma who painted and whom I love was named Mariam.
What do you think?