Have you ever watched time lapse painting videos?
I’m so addicted to them! My friends and family know that more than anything I want to be an oil painter, but I can’t seem to get past all the head games that go along with it. Those voices that tell me this looks awful, you’re joking yourself. The truth is, painting is hard work! Most paintings look awful in the beginning! I so admire artists who’ve reached the point where painting is not so hard anymore, and they can trudge through those ugly phases knowing it will soon be beautiful.
What I’ve learned from the speed painting videos is that painting is made up of two main things: darkening your darks, and lightening your lights. Over and over the artist does this. They even darken the same places they just made lighter! Again and again, on and on. I watch and wonder what is the point! But, each time the artist makes a tiny adjustment, and in the end it is always beautiful. I could spend hours watching these. (hours I should be spending painting through the ugly phases)
I’m so glad I discovered cut-paper sculpture art. It takes all the fear and negative self judgement away for me. It lets me play and move things around to check composition before I make them permanent. Cut paper illustration is so easy to just start over if I mess up. And, with cut-paper art I can play with my camera and computer to get the shadows and effects I love.
I’ll keep making my children’s illustrations in cut paper while I work through the head games of oil painting. But, I’m not giving up on becoming an oil painter. I’m just stubborn like that.