digital drawing of a cat

I was wondering if I could improve my drawing process. I tend to copy what I see, which is fine for studying. Drawing from imagination gives another dimension to one’s self-expression. Of course, to make any sense to an outsider, it has to be based somewhat in reality. So, drawing from observation is still an important practice.

animated gif of drawing process

My intent was a dreamy version of a cat. I started with a big fat brush to build the animal out of blobs of digital paint. Not going into detail was hard, and I think I could have remained at the big-blob level longer than I did. The white plant-like thingy started as an accidental stroke with my finger I didn’t notice before saving. Alas, saving in the current version of Procreate destroys the editing history. Not that I expect my memory-starved lowbudget iPad to be able to hold such a file in RAM.

Anyway, the mistake was a blessing in disguise (as mistakes usually are), because it offered me something for the eyes to pay attention to. I’m by no means an expert at painting, nor art design, but keeping the observer looking at an image is perhaps the second most important attribute of any artwork. The first being, to not bore the observer with the expected, with what can be assumed common knowledge. The observer can use their imagination to fill in missing details.

I also need to remind myself that these paintings are but a step in what I want to create, a pixel art piece. The paintings are rough attempts at creating ideas. Some artists may be able to do without such a change in medium and do this imagination bit in a pixel art editor. I found that an additional step with traditional drawing really helps me to iron out vagaries in my art.

After all, art is creating something where there was nothing, besides emptiness (which is actually a thing). Filling this void, enhancing life is what makes art worth all the trouble. However, we humans aren’t born as artists, so we need some assistance to aid in the art creation process. If you can do it all in your head, more power to you! The rest of us do what we need to do to get things done, however clumsy it may appear to an outsider.