(This is a mirror site of my webpage karenjcarlisle.com)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Practice, challenges, Inspiration and Kicks up the Butt

There was a time there (well many years, actually) that I did hardly any drawing. It happens. I was 'gonna do it' but it just did not happen. Sadly it happened for too long. I had thought my muse had left me...
but a hobby or profession is like anything else; sports people practice to hone their skills, so should artists and writers. Sometimes I need a deadline or a project to kick me in the butt.
Some of my 'tricks' are
There are a few photography challenges online, such as  30 day challenges or Weekly photo challenge on flickr. A theme is given and then you can run with it. This can be helpful when stuck for ideas and gets the creative juices churning. It was (and is) good practice for commission work - when given a description/theme and having to come up with something.
A lot of people don't like competitions. Think of them of  more practice, with a deadline and a theme. You can get some (hopefully constructive) feedback with some of them. If you don't win - no foul, as you have produced another piece of work, sometimes something out of your comfort zone, and got more practice. If you do get a gong, then bonus! I don't enter all competitions and not all competitions have tangible prizes. 
eg. earlier this year, I entered an art competition on one of the forums. It's theme: a Star Wars Extended Universe character. I had to do some research for a character and did a quick sketch of something a little different to work I have been doing for a while. 
and got a pleasant surprise. I got second. :) There 'prize' was name colours on the forum and in their gallery. But what I got was practice at drawing a character, an appreciation of the varied characters in Star Wars and some exposure as an artist... and I got them whether I got a gong or not.
Well worth it!

How I did it:
firstly a rough sketch to flesh out the composition and clothing

Then I inked over the pencil. This was done in a hurry, as I left it to the last minute (tsk tsk) 

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