Of late, I’ve felt that I need to push myself a little harder with my art. I’ve been doing lots and lots of drawings, so it’s not that I’ve gotten lazy; rather, I feel like I’ve gotten complacent. I feel like I keep doing the same kind of drawing over and over again, without really challenging myself or stretching my artistic skills.
So to shake up my routine, I decided to take some of my art supplies “out into the wild,” so to speak. Or at least I took them out of my art studio and brought them with me to my day job. My hope was that I could draw something based on first hand observation, rather than from photo references, mannequins and maquettes, or pure imagination.
A year or two ago, a thoughtful friend left this Mr. Sun figurine on my desk. Given the history of this blog, that seemed like a good place for me to start.
One of the challenges of drawing from first hand observation is that your mind plays tricks on you. You have to get past what your mind thinks you should see and draw what your eyes actually see. I had a really tough time with this drawing because my mind kept insisting there should not be highlights and cast shadows on the Sun; the Sun is supposed to be a light source!
It’s been a long time since I’ve taken my art out of the studio like this. I think it was good practice artistically speaking, and a surprisingly difficult mental challenge as well. I plan to do a whole lot more of this. Let me know in the comments if you’d like to see more of the results (good, bad, or ugly).
I love drawing almost as much as I love writing. But when you love something, there’s a real danger of settling into a comfort zone, becoming complacent, and getting bored. And then you may start to fall out of love with that thing (or maybe even that person) that you loved so much.
So whatever it is you love, I hope you’ll keep pushing yourself, take some risks, and challenge yourself to do something more with it.