After a particularly sleep deprived week, all I could muster for my sketchbook practice this week was doing color practice. I’m working on the designs for the top I want to make for the burgundy leather look fabric from my Fabric Stash Challenge: Round I. The only way to get more comfortable with color is to use it. So broke out the watercolors, colored pencils, ink, and alcohol markers.
I primarily wanted to test out how I liked using watercolor to lay down the base colors for an object. Then using colored pencils and ink to add dimension. I played with skin tone colors, the burgundy color for the fabric, and one attempt at gold that I decided not to push further.
My sketchbooks are devoid of color usually because I run out of steam or I don’t want to “ruin” a sketch I like, but I found in this practice I was really enjoying the process. It didn’t have to be perfect and I was looking forward to making mistakes. Or in the words of the great Bob Ross: happy little accidents. Even though there isn’t much going on for this page section I find it encouraging. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the idea that accomplishment begets accomplishment; consistency begets consistency. It’s a lot easier to do when those things don’t require perfection.
What I realized was that my fear of “ruining” a sketch came from the belief I had that I could only be that successful getting the lines on paper once. Or that it was so hard fought to get there that it would be a waste of my time for me to fumble at rendering it. I know that I couldn’t move forward if I didn’t give it a try, but fear isn’t always rational. Approaching it with lower stakes makes it easier for me to try and, I believe, inevitably improve. I have internalized that if I could do it once I can do it again. It’s funny how I didn’t need this lesson in other endeavors where I had to work to improve. I don’t know what it is about illustration in particular that rattles my insecurities, but I’m pushing through and am feeling good.
Oh, I just got in a new to me fashion illustration book, Fashion Illustration and Design by Manuela Brambatti, that at first flip through is hitting a lot of the points I was looking for in a guide. I’m thinking of setting up a more structured practice to improve my artwork and will use the references I’ve gathered so far to help me through. Adding color to my work again is long overdue. I’ll continue to log my progress here and share with you any methods or tips that I find helpful.