Who else is gonna be brave and post some of their high school/older artwork?
I dare you.
Come on, who can back down from a dare? ;)
When I was in high school I took every art class they offered. I had special permission from my art teacher to take the AP (advanced placement, if you pass it you earn college credit while still in high school) art test my junior year, and my senior year (at the time, which was about 13 years ago, they offered a general AP test and a drawing test). I was in heaven.
For my portfolio I had to have a theme, and a common style to my work. This is what I came up with:
Lots and lots of these paintings and drawings of people. Mostly girls in prom dresses, or at the beach, or putting on makeup, or kissing their boyfriends (yes, I was a typical fashion and boy crazed teenager. I admit it.) These were all done in watercolor with pen and ink details. They were so. much. fun.
The emphasis was always more on the design, than it was the accuracy of the figure. I whipped out these little drawings, (mostly from my imagination or some fashion magazine) then painted the washes in. This is where I began to learn how to handle watercolor.
This is a sketch of a Native American, his head is close to his horse, not his girlfriend ;)
My art teacher always said, that abstraction and design was preferred over realism, and that it was the one sure way to make your work stand out enough to the judges to get you to pass the test. So that's what I did, as much as I could. But I never felt like I was creating artwork that really said 'me'. I was just doing what I thought the judges wanted to see.
It's taken me a long time to finally come to terms with painting the way I want to. And now, I feel happy about that. Here are ten things I know now that I wish I could go back and tell my 16 year old self.
1. There is no ONE way to make art. If someone tells you there is, they are wrong. It's that simple.
2. If you want to paint horses and puppies, then paint them. Don't paint something just because you think other people will like it. Paint what you like, and it will appeal to others as well. Images that come from the deepest desires of your heart will always touch other people too.
3. Not everyone is going to like what you paint. That's okay. Who cares? You like it, that's what matters.
4. You can teach yourself how to paint and draw the way you want to. It's a learnable skill. Practice, practice, practice. Study, learn, repeat.
5. Believe in yourself. If you don't, no one else will either.
6. The smell of instant coffee still reminds you of Mr. Crowther (your art teacher). And he was right about doing all those contour line drawings. Suck it up, do them, and be thankful.
7. Your first realistic portrait? 'Tis not beautiful. That's okay, try, try again. Learn from it what you can, don't get discouraged, and try again.
8. Don't give up. Not even when you think you suck. Because you don't.
9. Prayer helps. A lot.
10. Your favorite watercolor brush is still a size 6. And also a ten. :)