When do you consider a painting finished?

How do you consider a painting finished? Got this question a few days ago, and thought that it was a really good question. When are you actually done, and when is it time to drop that brush and move on to a new piece?

Been thinking about this for a while now, and frankly, it’s super hard to give a short, straight answer.

I’m mainly focusing on personal art right now, as client work involves more people than just the artist itself.

In my case, it’s a lot about gut feeling. I continue working on a piece, as long as there are mistakes left to fix. Iike weird proportions, strange colour schemes, annoying details, and so on. Decluttering. I also try to stick to main idea, of what I’d like to say with the piece.

Then one has to know when to let go, before overly detailing the piece. That’s a tricky balance! This part has gotten easier, the older I get. I’ve become better at accepting that I won’t be able to fix everything, all at once. Every painting you make, is a part of a larger picture. Gosh, I know. It’s super cheezy but, it’s true, hehe.

However, this mindset definitely helps me when I paint. When I look at older paintings, I spot flaws everywhere. So many annoying details that I’d like to fix. But, I’ve learned to accepts those mistakes, as beauty spots. Then I keep my fingers crossed, that nobody else will notice them, except me ;)

What are your thoughts on this? When do you consider a painting finished?

Quick tip for sketching: check your shapes, all the time

Thought I could share my thoughts and tips, since my main focus right while I work nowadays, is based on shapes. Maybe some of you would find this helpful too?

Let’s start with this scibbly little fox, that I doodled during one of my coffee breaks. It’s super tiny, and would fit on a post -it.

Here’s how I usually did the line art

I went ahead and created a new empty layer. Then simply drew the lines on top of the scribble. I know many amazing artists who could do this in their sleep, and the line art will turn out perfect every time. Well, I am not one of those artists, hehe… I’m never happy with the line art at this stage. The shapes and roportions aren’t as good as in the initial scribble, and I end up in a never ending loop of fixing mistakes, during the rendering stage.

Instead, I skip this step for now, and focus entirely on the overall silhouette

Here’s what I meant with starting outside, and to work inwards. I correct the shapes, remove tangents, and polish everything until I got something that I really like.

I check my shapes against the scribble all the time, since I already solved lots of things at that stage already.

Allright. Now I have a silhouette that I feel content with, and a nice foundation to start with the actual line art.

Here’s the final line art! Big difference compared to that first attempt.

You can save so much time this way, even though it feels like such an obvious tip. It took me a while before I started connecting the dots. Better late than never!

Here’s a little bonus as well. I enjoyed drawing this fox so much, that I decided to color it. Enjoy!

Hope you found this post helpful! If you have any good tips when making line art, feel free to leave a comment!

Focusing on the shapes

The inspiration for blogging is flooding right now. Writing that recent post seems to have been all that I needed, to spark something again. Gotta stay put, so that I don’t publish 10 posts a day though, haha. I don’t want to spam you guys.

As I mentioned earlier, I got several books in the making. Yes, you read it correctly.

Books.

They will keep me occupied through out the year, and even the beginning of next year.

Oddly, I don’t really feel intimidated by how much work that lies ahead of me. I’m actually quite pumped! I see a huge opportunity to hone in on my skills to sketch smarter. Become faster.

About working smarter

I’ve been struggling a bit with my sketches, and haven’t felt that I was quite at the level that I wanted to be. Besides, are you ever fully satisfied? Probably not. However, the sketching phase has always felt really daunting for me, whenever I’m starting a new project. Thumbnailing is fine, but my line art always felt stiff and kind of dead. I kept fixing all the mistakes, then eventually I ended up with art that still felt rather “blah”.

Something clicked quite recently. Or, at least I leveled up one step. It’s easier said than done, but I think that I’ve FINALLY connected the dots in regards of focusing on the main shapes of my subjects. And since then, sketching has been such a joy! Stop obsessing to find that perfect line, and think bigger. Think about the silhouette. Your taste when it comes to shape language is more important than one may think.

Outside and inwards

Start outside, and work yourself inwards, when refining a sketch. Look for that perfect balance with the shapes you lay down.

So, yeah. I’m very happy. The books will only give me the perfect excuse to sketch a lot, and keep exploring shape language. Those of you who know me, probably know by now, how much I love repetition.

An illustrator in hibernation

Hello, anybody here? Ghah, I promised too much. I keep mentioning that I’ll post more frequently, and once again, the months just fly by. I miss this place though!

Things are quite fine over here, despite all the chaos that came with 2020.

Been distracting myself with playing Animal Crossing every day. I dicsovered it this year, best game ever!

And then, I’ve been working of course. Same old :) Currently working on several children’s books, that I’m super hyped about. Can’t wait to show you once they’re ready! I love drawing story-driven stuff so much.

In the meantime, here’s a cover illustration done for Kamratposten last year. I had the opportunity to work on an article about feeling left out. It’s probably one of my favorite pieces that I made last year.


Talk to you soon. Thanks for sticking around, and feel free to leave a life sign in the comments below!

A little sketch dump inbetween work

Hey! How are things?

This year has been so busy. I’ve been occupied with lots of freelance work, a lot more than last year. I really enjoy it though, and I feel that I’m slowly finding a healthy balance between work and rest.

I take a lot of breaks inbetween work, and lately I allowed myself to fine-tune my cats. And other cute stuff that I’ve found interesting at the moment.

It’s hard, but I think it’s moving forward. I’m using this method a lot.

tiger sketches procreate

Studying photos, our own cats and how my idols solve their designs.

tiger sketches

The goal with my studies? To fine-tune my knowledge of animals further, and find more time efficient ways to draw them. In return, my personal style will hopefully grow with it.

Here are some more recent sketches. These are just directly out of my head.

animals sketches dogs bunnies cats

A mix of stuff :)


Thanks for viewing! Are you practicing anything right now?

Long time no see

Wow, hi.

I’ve missed this place and you so much lately. Thanks for sticking around, despite one and a half year of complete scilence.

Time to revive this place.

Lots have happened since last time I wrote something here.

I could start by showing the jacket art of the latest book I’m currently working on. The remaining illustrations inside the book need to be done very soon, so I better get going. Really looking forward to share everything once it’s published!

Hope that this will do for now :)

Got lots of thoughts and things I’de like to share with you, so let’s do this.

Talk to you soon!

A new painting video is up!

End of the weekend already.
fox sketch digital art photoshop
I’ve felt such urge to color a fox sketch, that’s been collecting dust on my drive for a couple of weeks.

Took me about an hour, maybe. Photoshop. I borrowed the colorscheme from my previous speed painting. I love painting warm lighting so much, I could do this all day.

Oh and I remembered to make a new time lapse for Youtube – feel free to check it out.

Hope you liked it! I’ll have some rest now. Time for evening snacks and watching some TV series.

Monthly recap: February + March and thoughts about procrastination

February and March. They just swooshed by. I’ve barely had any freelance work, so I’ve been mostly doing mindless doodles on my spare time. Quite nice though, I like having slower months from time to time, where I put myself first.

watercolors cats persian cornish rex bunny

nathan fowkes watercolor study

Still soldiering on with my watercolors these two months as well, and I think I’m slowly moving forward. Learning a lot so far, I’ve figured out that tube paints and white gouache are my friends. Nothing ecxiting to show yet though, I need to save my failed attempts for a future post ;)

acrylic inks fox painting

I also found some acrylic inks after one of my visits to the art supply store, which I’ve been playing around with. I’m hooked now. They kinda behave like watercolors, but become waterproof. Interesting…… I can do a comparison later on!

winter stockholm judarskogen deer

Stockholm has been FREEZING lately. We haven’t had this much snow in years. I know many Swedes over here have been fed up with it. But not me. I’ve welcomed it with open arms. Climate anxious much?

And then there were lots of snow leopards in February. Here are a bunch of sketches I made to study these gourgeous beasts.

snow leopard sketches digital art photoshop

I mean, seriously. How cute are they? Holding their own tails and acting all cute. Snow kittens!

What about my action Points?

Well, I did go on a field trp in February. But I definitely failed March, and got sick instead. Oh well, I’ll go twice next month! I haven’t done any serious writing either… Shame on me.

However, I DID publish my first video on Youtube in ages. It still counts even though I did it last minute, hehe:

Yeah, that’s pretty much it for now!

April will be about some freelancing, I need to focus on that book that’s meant to get finished later in May. Then I’ll try to kickstart my Youtube channel for real.

And work on my own story.

Seriously….

How come it’s so much harder to finish our own Projects? I get writer’s block Before I even start, even though I know how my story will start and end. Ghah.

Really, this is one of my greatest stuggles to be honest. I already use a Bullet Journal to manage tasks to get things done, loving it. But I think making a schedule for everything would good too. Time management for the win!

 


What are your best tips on being more effective?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New painting of a cuddly fox

How is it possible to feel this productive and lazy at the same time? I’ve got so much I was planning to do during this weekend, yet I end up here painting a cuddly fox. But, damn it was so much fun painting it. I’ve been in the zone for hours and managed to color this one all in one sitting. Again. One can’t fight the urges, you just gotta hold on as long and enjoy it while it lasts ;)

Painting light and shadows is so much fun, I remember how excited I became when things slowly started to click and I actually understood better how light works. Still not perfect of course, but better than 10 years ago ;)

cuddly fox sketch

Here’s the initial sketch I finished yesterday before coloring. Guess I was thinkng a lot of Zimba while working on it. Maybe he was a cuddly fox in a past life.

Oh right, I remembered to record the process of this one! Just need to find a nice video editing software for PC. Any suggestions? :) Is After Effects and Premier still the thing?

 

Hope you had a wonderful weekend. Talk to you soon.

 

January recap: Watercolor hype, frost and a cute and cozy school

Why hello there, it’s me again. Almost end of February already? Really? What’s going on?  

It’s time for the first monthly recap to check on how I am doing wth my goals for the year. January has been really fun, consisting of lazy and snowy days(haven’t have this much snow in Stockholm in years, yay!), some freelance work, losing myself in watercolors.

So how did I do with the goals so far? Let’s have a look:

snow leopard watercolors noukah

Traditional painting

I’ve been really busy with my brushes and paint these past weeks. There’s something about watercolors that gets me so enchanted that I forget about time and space when watching the wet colors mix on the paper. After struggling a lot, practicing and sweating, I managed to finish my first watercolor painting in January. The one with two lynxes chasing each other.

I’ve got another one in progress already, which is the one you can see above :) Yay! We’re making progress!

frost

Getting out in nature

I can proudly cross this one off my list as well. Visited a beautiful nature preserve here in Stockholm during one of the coldest days here so far. So worth it.

I’m planning to do a smaller field trip again probably this weekend or next week. I still got some time to decide upon where to go next :)

Speaking in front of a large audience

This year will be the one when I become better at public speaking. I can feel it. I know, I’ve said this before, but Imagine how cool it would be to become really good at capturing your audience. Standing casually on a stage and say things that matter. Yes, I want that.

I had the great opportunity to keep practicing, as I got asked to be a guest teacher for two days at a boarding school that teaches animation. I arrived to a snowy town in south Sweden, and the school looked like this cozy little village consisting of red houses.  I was teaching character design, and had an awesome time. Once again – thanks for having me!

Writing and illustrating my own story

Hm, frankly I didn’t have time to focus on this goal at all in January. I still got time though, as I set an action point to finish an outline, synopsis and rough text for my story by the end of February. Will probably aim to finish that horse story. I do have most of the rough story already, so I might manage to finish all of it on time. I’ll try!

Active blog

Well yes. I would say that I’ve been more active on this blog and social media than ever. By being productive of course ;) I’ve posted on average, one blog post per week which I think is a pretty nice level.

But Youtube…? Heh. I do have videos in the backlog, and I know I said that the next video should be done by the end of February. We will se about that. Maybe I can do it, if I put myself together and really priotirised it.

All in all, I think I did pretty ok during January. Managed to keep focus and finish tasks in a humane pace.

February and March in particular, will be more about public speaking and story telling. I can’t wait to finish my stories, it must be so cool to have something that’s made all by yourself.


How was your January?