We have to change our language before we can change ourselves. 'Oldie, but a goodie' is a term I've been leaning away from these past few years, for a very conscious reason. Why should something being older immediately require the 'but' qualifier?
I could detail an entire TED Talk on the cult obsession with youth in modern society and all the insidious ways it creeps into our everyday conversations. I could talk about the pervasive shame many artists have about old work and how it's misrepresentative of who they want to be. The constant qualifiers that spill out when sharing old art -- much less admiring it -- makes me sick straight to my gut. This phrase doesn't create personal progress. It's a roadblock in just a few words.
Let's switch it up. This is an oldie and a goodie: a pin-up illustration of a character I painted in 2015. He's a lion-headed magician with a chip on his shoulder, always a little moody despite the child clientele he often entertains.
Even though I complete many of my pieces completely digitally, every once in a while I'll whip out a pencil sketch for the base. It's something I plan on doing more, actually, because it gives me a velvety, oily finish I don't quite get with my purely digital art. Also, it just feels good scanning in a drawing and going to town. Coloring comes easily to me and it's nice to just fill in the lines and let my mind wander.
You can still see the edges of the paper where I scanned, even as the coloring is nearing completion. I've since learned ways of working around this. I create a separate lineart layer by adjusting the sketch's values, then using layer transparency and channels to separate the dark from the light. Saves you time and looks way better. You can find a tutorial on that here.
Hobby artists and professional artists? Let's change the way we talk about ourselves and our works. Self-deprecation doesn't actually improve your technical skill (no matter what some art teachers and industry gatekeepers will tell you about 'humility'). Running from your old work doesn't get you any closer to the artist you want to be. Art is an extension of yourself. If you're constantly browbeating your craft, take that as a sign to start chipping away at your personal growth.
What old techniques have you kept from past work? How does your new work lean closer to your goals?
Got more progress shots, recent doodles and, yes, old work on the way. Stay tuned!
Here I post WIPs, sketches, speedpaints, thumbnails and anything else thrown into the veritable stew of artistic process.