By in Art

My Portrait of Taz - A Very Bad Artist's Block

This doesn't happen often, but I got ROYALLY stuck on this painting, right where you saw it last. The sketch was no problem, and laying in some basics in the background went okay. But then I got completely stuck. The problem? I work from the background forward, building up the paint in layers. Since I work in acrylic, not oil, the paint dries quickly, and rather than blend, one usually layers colors on top of other colors. Therefore, it makes the most sense to paint the stuff in the foreground last, because it's in front (and therefore, on top) of everything else.
You'd think I would get bogged down on the later parts, because the background doesn't matter so much, right? Well no, the background is pretty important, even though it's not the focal point of the picture. But that was actually part of the problem. See, the window on Taz's right had very bright sunlight coming through it - so bright that it actually obscured parts of the image. It was very hard to figure out how to go about painting this. I wasn't sure exactly what I was looking at, and I also didn't want to paint the light through the window as bright as it was, because I wanted it to stay in the background and not leap forward. The focal point had to be Taz, not the window.
But how was I supposed to handle this? I wasn't sure how to approach it, and I set the painting to the side, avoiding the problem entirely. I didn't work on it for a very long time. I was ashamed of how long it was taking, and I apologized to Mark, even sending him a set of cards that I drew that had a tabby cat to serve as a kind of placeholder while he was waiting. That's the picture you see here.
I tried to spur myself to complete the painting by making it one of my 20Resolutions for 2020, and I was supposed to complete it during the year 2020. I did not do that, sadly. But the good news is that I finally was able to overcome my artist's black, and I'll tell you about that next time!
In the meantime, you might enjoy this post I wrote on my art blog:

Image Credit » My original artwork

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MegL wrote on January 3, 2023, 8:00 PM

It's interesting (though unfortunate for you) to understand that artists get blocked just the same as writers.

markgraham wrote on January 5, 2023, 6:18 PM

I like this as a sketch. The cat seems to be saying "My flower don't touch or else."