Besides my difficulties shading, I also don’t have a very visual memory and even my imagination rarely comes up with a clear, sharp image. Because of this, I usually create art directly from life or a photo. But I firmly believe that trying things I wouldn’t normally do helps me grow more than anything else, so a couple of months ago I made my first attempt at working without any direct reference. First, I chose a photo from a recent trip that I really liked:
I allowed myself to study it a little. This was my first try, after all. But I was doing this at a friend’s house, so I didn’t look at it for maybe an hour and a half before I started painting it. This is what I made:
It’s clearly rough (though it looks better in person where the shadows blend in better). I could pick it apart, but I won’t. It has a certain charm, and for me it’s a good first step towards working from memory or imagination. Now that I’m painting again I’d like to try things like this more often.
When was the last time you went outside your comfort zone to improve your art or another aspect of your life?
(Blog management note: I set up a twitter the other day. Over the next week I’ll be working on setting up more social media and getting everything connected, but for now you can find me here: https://twitter.com/alexschulerarts)