This week I worked on gouache quick-paint portraits, and so begins 2019's Sketchbook Roundup!
Before I began, I laid down a couple simple rules for myself, the first being that the portrait itself could not take more than three minutes, but the second being that I could re-do the portrait as many times as I wanted.
I based this exercise on an Andre Thomas lecture I heard (and loved) recently about the "fail until you succeed" model employed in games, and I suppose it's also based on the method I used to learn musical instruments when I was younger. It's focused repetition that awakens into a positive feedback loop as you gain momentum, and it is some strong medicine indeed.
I also did one thing I haven't done in a while, which was to use cheap copy paper. What a thrill! It absolutely did not hold up to the demands of the gouache, it has zero archival qualities that I'm aware of, and it buckled like a cowboy on the dance floor, but I loved it so much.
Keeping the financial stakes low emancipated my monkey mind from fixating on the cabbage and allowed me to enjoy a whole lot of these penalty-free attempts. The process created a rippled but healthy stack of possibilities, and from it I was able to choose outcomes that I enjoyed looking at. I present some of these to you now:
Although the series is called "Sketchbook Roundup", there may or may not be an actual sketchbook involved. I just mean to say "art stuff I practiced".
I ironed the pages this week to make them lay flatter.
All of these portraits were based on photos from unsplash. Thank you so much, all you great and generous photographers! I appreciate it.
This is not the same lecture I referenced above, but here is a link to a TEDx Andre Thomas did so you can become acquainted.
Happy New Year!