I consider it a failure But, like all failures, we have an opportunity to learn something. When something doesn’t work out, it’s always best to take a step back and reason out its shortcomings. Otherwise, you’re doomed to repeat the same mistakes over and over again.
So, let’s commence the flagellation!
Composition was not solved.
Very early on in this painting, I arrived at a composition that I liked, but I settled too quickly. The buildings on the hill were not solved early on, the sense of scale could be pushed further.
Civilization does not start abruptly. A town does not just begin all of a sudden, there’s a progression of buildings on the outskirts of any town, which lead into a denser packed city. If I used reference, I would have figured this out sooner.
The desert sort of looks like a desert, the town sort of looks like a town. The lighting kind of looks correct. Not good enough.
Did not solve color or light.
Before I jumped into painting finer details, lighting and color were not solved. I fought with it in the beginning, but never quite figured it out before I moved into painting if further. This led to a backwards approach, where I’m trying to fix my mistakes as I move forward This is a bad workflow, because it does not allow for what Bob Ross calls “Happy Accidents.”
I could go on, but this is a sufficient scolding of my efforts. Looking at the painting now, I should have stopped 20 minutes in; that at least could have served as a decent sketch.
It’s the Backwards Approach that always gets me, and we all encounter it in our work. We push too far ahead and leave a mess in our wake, only to have to back track and clean up after ourselves. I’m quickly considering this to be the death knell of a painting in progress. If you’re detailing a painting but it feels more like a punishment that meditative pleasure, maybe you should set it aside and work on something else.
I present the aftermath of yesterday’s 2 hour event – A Giant Leaping Through the Clouds.
Always reflect on what you’ve done, and try to look at it with a fresh pair of eyes. Sometimes that means coming back to it in a day, or looking it at backwards, upside-down, etc. If you don’t like what you’ve done, don’t beat yourself up about it. Whenever we draw, we’re improving. If you want to improve, then draw.
I’ll be painting in Photoshop, live, starting at 12 PM EST. I live in Spain, so that explains the time.
I’ve been inspired by the mountains and wide open landscapes of Spain. I have an idea of a giant leaping through the mountains, which I’ll try to execute this afternoon. I’ll post a link when the time comes.
The Rapid Failure method is a technique for memorizing the combinations of simple forms that, when combined together, create something complex. Everything we perceive can broken down into simple shapes, which is a key principle in drawing. If we memorize those shapes we can develop a mental roadmap that allows us to depict whatever we want, whenever we want.
I developed this technique while looking for a way to incorporate spaced repetition in drawing, thus allowing me to draw from memory. I wanted something simple and quick and so far, it’s worked. Here’s how to do it.
How to do it.
Attempt to draw the object from memory, as best you can.
The drawing will no doubt be abysmal, but it’s important that you record a starting point for later comparison.
Open up Google and look for clear and precise reference photos, all from various angles.
Don’t dive too deep into details or anatomy just yet — look for large forms that you can commit to memory.
Compare the reference to your previous attempts.
Put the reference away and draw the object from memory.
Focus on one or two major shapes, and draw them several times from several angles.
Look for your mistakes a calibrate accordingly.
If you feel inclined, try drawing the entire object.
Once you understand how to draw a dog, that knowledge is transferable to every single quadruped that lives or has lived on planet Earth.
As the name implies, it’s important that you move rapidly. But when I say rapid, I don’t mean move the pen as fast as you can — it means to not stop, to move steadily and continuously and to fail with purpose.
Use a pen. It should be obvious that you’re not going to be erasing anything, and you want your lines to be bold and visible.
Working this way provides some great benefits…
When you fail on purpose, the fear of getting it wrong evaporates.
Improves line quality.
Line quality comes from confidence and control.
Increased awareness of form.
Form is paramount to a good drawing.
If you focus only on large shapes, you’ll naturally become bias towards depicting form over detail ( which is a good thing ).
The shape, form and construction of various objects is transferable.
Once you understand how to draw a dog, that knowledge is transferable to almost every single quadruped living on planet Earth.
If you have any questions, agreements or feel like antagonizing me, or a way this technique can be altered and enhanced, do me a solid by leaving a comment below.