I just sampled a fabulous blog called “Art is not for Sissies.” You can find it here, if interested.
It features art and cats, two of my favorite subjects. The author is talented but she also takes care with her art. I’d take classes from her any day!
The blog reminded me of a perennial issue I’ve had, one I am in the process of overcoming. In the past, I have only done art when it was fun. If the result wasn’t perfect, so what? It was just art. I had a few art teachers, some of whom tried to teach me decent studio skills, and others who were more of the “whatever you do is great, follow your own bliss and go with the flow” types. That latter category of teachers were quite damaging! This is the kind of work that they inspired:
See how I couldn’t keep anything straight, and the pencils are completely inconsistent? The lighting is off, and poor Vader’s arm is far too large? That came from “following my own bliss” and not paying attention to detail.
In later years, I’ve ended up with a partner who has a fine appreciation of art and a rather uncompromising view of the world. She thinks that you should always do your best in whatever you do, and that precision is important. She pushes me to do better. I’ve come to love the precision of well done pencils and inks. I’ve made the clear ruler my friend. I also know how far I still have to go! But it’s okay, I have time.
This is what happened when I started caring more… still not great, but better. He’s distorted a bit, but that was because I was drawing him from memory. The below image is the point I’m at now. Not doing much with pencils, in other words!