I started thumbnailing my Blackbeard portrait last Sunday night, transferred it to canvas and started blocking in the colors Tuesday night, and almost immediately decided I hated it. Not in the, “can’t see past the ugly stage” way (I mean, I went through a little of that, initially), but more in an, “I can already tell there is something fundamentally, structurally wrong” way.
So Wednesday night, I set it aside and started over. I’ve decided that this is my one full “do-over;” if I have problems front his point on, I’m just going to have to work with it instead of “wasting” canvas (I’m not actually “wasting” it, I’m just going to gesso the other one and reuse it, but it’s the principle of the matter – sometimes you have to start over, sure, but sometimes you just have to work with what you have and make the most of it. I’m still trying to suss out when each of those reactions is the most appropriate).
I am much, much happier with the new painting, I feel like it looks more like Taika (not in any way perfect, but much more recognizable), and I think part of that is that the new reference photo has far better lighting and makes it much easier to distinguish different values in the face and clothing. I’m learning more and more the value of a good reference photo – I’m certainly not blaming the initial screencap for the failure of my first attempt, but I will credit the new screencap for the (thus far) success of my second. I think if I were more skilled, I could have made the first work, but for someone of my ability, having a very clean and clear reference photo is definitely a huge help.
I can tell something is going right because I am excited to get home and get my chores done so that I can actually work on the painting, which is not something that happens when a piece is going badly. I know I should probably be starting to work on my Fat craft piece, but I already know, conceptually, what I want to do, and I’ve taken (and chosen) my reference photo, I just need to sort of sit down in the right headspace to work, but in the meantime, this is at least providing me with some creative momentum.
Sleep has not been my friend lately. Nothing in particular has been keeping me up, I just find myself waking in the middle of the night feeling strangely refreshed, which generally means reading or laying in bed until I eventually fall back to sleep, only to have a final hour or so of fitful sleep before having to wake up for the day. Naps help, but by the time I get home and get myself situated, it’s already dangerously close to 4:00 or 4:30, and taking a nap that late in the afternoon feels like setting myself up for sleep failure come my actual bedtime.
I am glad that, at the very least, the longer, warmer days are a welcome respite from the cold and dark that has been this past winter. Later this week we are looking at upwards of 80 degrees, and hopefully I’ll get to spend more time outdoors, which also helps regulate my sleep, I’ve found.
Hope you are all well. Take care of yourselves and each other.