My Favorites Are Not Your Favorites; It’s a Good Thing

December 9, 2022

It always momentarily amazes me which paintings I post on Instagram get the most likes.

Paintings I absolutely love usually gain low scores. Dogs and chickens are popular. I understand that.

I offer this comment here for past students who may wonder why people are not falling in love with the painting they just posted and love.

Here’s one example. If you want to see me sketch this painting you can join me on Patreon and see the full painting demo.

But I’ll just summarize the highlights—I started sketching with a brush pen (you can still see it on the ear I think, and elsewhere). I then picked up some NeoColor IIs to play with (see cheek on right) but they didn’t do what I wanted, so I ended up going into opaque watercolor.

(That’s my regular watercolor used with very little water. I do this a lot because it’s fun, and because sometimes I’m too lazy to get up and get the gouache out, and typically I just want to MOVE paint around and I’m allergic to oils, so you get the idea.)

I actually repainted the entire left side of this model’s face. Some students have told me it made them physically ill watching the demo at the point when I obliterated what was a reasonable likeness and shifted the features over and down into a better portrait.  

I encouraged them to go forward fearlessly. And to definitely follow the fun factor.

Here’s a detail of the finished portrait. You can see some of the pen lines in some areas, but you can also see the thick strokes of paint (especially on the forehead shadow) that are fun to put in. This painting was done on a 9 x 12 inch piece of Fluid 100 cold press watercolor paper.

Do I care that this painting has less likes than my dog portraits or chicken portraits on Instagram? Nope, my favorites are not your favorites. We are all going different places. It’s great that you check in now and then and find something you enjoy.

But you know would make me really happy? If you base your fun factor on what you experienced when you were painting and not how many likes you get when you post.  Then you’ll enjoy where you’re going.

    • Tina Koyama
    • December 10, 2022

    I really don’t care much about how many “votes” one sketch gets vs. another. But I’ll tell you what put me in my place: I had posted a video of a raccoon in our backyard scratching its belly, and that little video got waaay more likes than any sketch I have ever posted. There’s no pleasing a fickle audience. 😉

    1. Reply

      That’s hilarious Tina!!! And a great reminder.

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