It’s important if you’re going to keep your drawing habit healthy that you take time to find something good in what you’ve done.
Yes, you might not have captured someone’s likeness, or caught the proportions of a still life or landscape, but there is always something you can find and enjoy.
And if you do that bit becomes something you can call on when you want a special effect, color combination, or simply want to know which papers you enjoy working on.
In this small detail I find so much richness that since this was painted in the summer of 2018 I’ve used these approaches over and over. I love the granulation of the blue and orange mix beneath the eye (top right section of the detail). The saturated color, laid in while the lower lip area was still moist so it bled down to make its own shadow taught me another lesson in patience. The orange and green in different areas reminded me about this paper (Arches Text Wove) and why I love it using a flat brush and watercolor. And the crisp ink marks from the Sakura Pigma Professional Brush pen remind me how much I enjoy sketching beards and how fun it is to use one of these pens on the slightly textured surface of this paper.
Nothing else about this sketch matters. If I didn’t catch the likeness (and I didn’t in this one) my editing eye has already debriefed my mind and hand and it knows what to continue to watch for going forward. I don’t have to worry and fuss that this painting wasn’t “perfect” or a “success.”
Remind yourself you don’t even have to share full images with blog readers or friends on social media. I share a ton of stuff with you that didn’t work out, because I’m always trying to make a point about this or that. But remember that you can have a private discussion with yourself and your editing eye and no one else has to be included. Free yourself up to be yourself without reference to others.
This weekend when you sit down to paint take time to savor what worked in your sketch. Your editing eye will tell you specific things that didn’t work that you’ll need to watch in the future, but there is absolutely no place in your life for the bully-internal critic. Instead enjoy your weekend and be productive. Practice your washes, note down new discoveries. Smile.