The Green-Haired Girl (Part 1)

I did say that this blog would be where I talk about my failed experiments (amongst other things), but I had hoped it wouldn’t live up to that promise quite so soon. Ah well, we learn nothing from success, so maybe that’s okay.

I recently put an application for a BBC TV show about amateur artists. Fearing that they might be biased against digital painters (a post for another time), I tried to give myself the best possible chance by submitting what I thought they wanted: a landscape, a still life and a portrait. Knowing that my most recent portrait was a technical exercise not a finished piece, I was determined to paint a portrait, dragging out a half-finished sketch and getting to work.

In a turn of events that surprised no one, this has proven to be a disaster.
I wasted days correcting bad anatomy, fudging a less displeasing composition, trying and failing to create a consistent style and making up a background that ended up more like a backdrop. And that was once I settled on a digital painting – the original idea was to submit one piece in each of the three media I use, but my ink painting skills are well below par and, while it was an interesting experiment, it was a resounding failure.

After fifteen days’ work, I submitted another piece instead. I’m taking a break from the Green-Haired Girl for a bit, and going back to the sketch and working her up from the beginning. Wrestling with the picture has given me a lot of time to think about how I can improve the design and composition, and what comes next can only be an improvement.

So, this week’s lessons were:

  • Don’t rush the early stages
  • Approach each image with a well-defined vision
  • Practice ink painting