Sharing some sketches and some art chats today. My latest sketchbook stuff has been a mix of fanart, portrait doodles, and some more rough sketches for things here for the blog. I got a lot of icons drawn up for my new 5 Fandom Friday & Currently headers, and I’ve got a few other blog related things up my sleeve as well that will show up soon!
Lately, I’m feeling a lack of direction with my art. I love drawing portraits. I really do. And I love making fanart. But I want to do more. Mainly, I want to be able to create original art, without having to work from a direct reference. And I’ve been having trouble leaping over the mental hurdle of self confidence when it comes to that.
Give me a reference and I’m good to go. Honestly, it often feels effortless to capture a face in a quick sketch. Drawing portraits is one of those rare activities that causes me to lose time; I can draw for hours and feel like no time has passed at all. And I can often capture an expression in just a few minutes, like the image below which was about a ten minute sketch.
But when it comes to sitting down to draw things without a reference, I freeze. I sketch a few lines, erase, and repeat. I get discouraged. And I realize it’s counter productive. Obviously, I can’t improve if I’m not doing it! But I struggle to sit down and put effort into something that I normally find comfort and confidence in, and feel nothing but self doubt and discomfort.
So I’m taking baby steps. Using multiple references to help me draw without just recreating one direct image. That’s what I did for this Winter Soldier drawing – I pulled up multiple pictures of Bucky Barnes, Winter Solider, and also specifically his arm, and then sketched out my own image using them as guides. The final result doesn’t look a ton like Sebastian Stan, but it definitely is Winter Soldier and that was the point! I’m pleased with it.
I did the same thing for this next quick sketch. I’ve been watching a lot of ‘get ready with me’ type make-up vids on YouTube lately, so I took a few screencaps on my phone, had them all up, and used them as a guide to sketch out this piece. Even though it’s kind of an odd angle, I really like it and may turn it into a finished piece at some point!
Sometimes I forget that I don’t have to share all (or any!) art that I make online if I don’t want to. Being heavily involved with internet life and social media sometimes brings with it the feelings of I have to share everything and it’s just not true. It’s a lot easier to draw sketches, even if you think they’re terrible, when you remember no one has to has to see them. It’s something I need to keep in mind when I work on overcoming the mental hurdles that cause me to hold back, make excuses, and not practice more. I definitely want my art to grow and expand, and sometimes it can be hard to get out of my own way.
Even if you’re not an artist, what do you do to overcome mental hurdles that stand in your way?