Trying something new

There has been a lot happening in my life of late. I've started working full time, graduated from college with a first, and moved to a different country. This has had a negative affect on my illustration. Illustration is something I love to do, but the mixture of social media pressure and being busy constantly has had me putting it off.

For a long time, I wanted to work solely as an illustrator. I was obsessive about making this happen. While I would still love this, it isn't as important to me now that I have a steady income for the first time in my life. Perhaps it is the aftermath of working so hard at college and just wanting an easy life, but right now being a full time illustrator doesn't have to happen instantly.

With these changes, I've had a mental blocker when it comes to illustration. I can't find a composition I love, nothing is really hooking me in. So instead I have focused my attention on something I've always been a little uncomfortable with; colour. Sometimes, when I add colour to a piece I love, it just ruins all that hard work. But I keep getting the same remarks from a few people, and maybe it's just they don't like my style, but it's this idea that my artwork feels 'unfinished'. So with no new inspiration hitting me, I've turned to digital painting.

Digital Painting

This is the first digital painting I have done. I'm going to walk you through the process. The subject matter I chose was abstract, ripples in water.

Part 1: Colour blocking

I began by choosing three shades of the same colour, and blocking out areas. I started with neutral, then chose a darker shade and a lighter shade:

Part 2: Shadows and Highlights

I was hoping originally to get away with just three colours. How naive of me. So I went ahead and added some shadows and highlights.

Part 3: Accent

So here I was pretty much ready, but it looked well — boring. And so I figured I needed another little something. So I added an accent. I did the entire above sequence in one layer here, feeling that I had the general concept down. This is how it turned out:

I was pretty chuffed with how this turned out, as someone who considers themselves a terrible painter. I still cannot use physical paint, and I fear it may forever elude me. But I have done a few digital paintings as a way to relax on a sunday morning. This is mostly inspired by the work of other artists and photographers, and so take no credit on the composition or ideas themselves:

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