Friday, January 19, 2018

When Will I Ever Get Better at Painting?? 🎨

There's this common insecurity in art (and life probably, at least in my case) that "perfection" is so unattainable that people just don't try to attain anything because they're so scared that their art won't live up to their expectations.

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I am very guilty of this. That's one of the reasons I'm thankful for art school, because it forces me to overcome this with very real consequences if I don't. *cough* grades, yes I'm a nerd *cough*

More recently I've become a little more okay with not being perfect, with letting the paint lie where it accidentally splats, and with not obsessing over the tiniest detail in a design spread.

Just a little though. It's a hard fight, and all I can say is that I win it more often than I used to. 😂

While looking through some of my old art pictures on Facebook and some of my paintings from Painting 1 (what probably will be my last required, graded paintings), I thought it'd be cool to compare some of my first paintings to some of my most recent ones. That way I preserve memories (and pain) and show other aspiring artists that no one starts out perfect. Disclaimer: I'm still definitely not perfect. 

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And that's not the point. Perfection and realism is not the point. The point is to express yourself and the world through your eyes and with your unique style. The point is to create, because if you didn't you might possibly go crazy.

That being said, it is totally okay to take breaks from art. Yes, a person usually gravitates towards doing what they love in their free time, but if you need a break, you need a break. It's fine. I've taken breaks, for weeks sometimes months, from doing any kind of art that I usually do at school, or any art period. And that's cool. 👌

Fall 2014, first semester of college
The above painting was for Two Dimensional Design. It's mixed media (meaning, I didn't only use one material or medium): acrylic paints, ink pens, and glitter/sparkly glue. The topic for this project was "song representation." I chose Do Life Big by Jamie Grace (below).

Spring 2015

This was for Intro to Design (my second Digital Design class). It's a digital painting, minus the text, but was built from tracing an image.

Fall 2015

Another digital painting. I think that the subject was totally open for us students, so I painted this scene out of one of my WIP storyworlds.

Fall 2015

More digital painting yayy. I painted these for a poster I was using, but I ended up not using them.

Fall 2016

Guess what?? DIGITAL PAINTING. 😂😂 This is the Scarlet Witch, which I did for a portrait painting project. (I didn't paint the flames by hand, though, which you can tell if you pay attention to the repetition, etc. especially in the flames on the left.)

Spring 2017 #1

Spring 2017 #2
These were two acrylic paintings that I did for an honors class called The Human Body and Visual Art. They are based off the concept of presenting anatomy with artistic reinterpretation. Meaning, fairytales. The first one is a hybrid of Jack and the Beanstalk and a kidney. The second one is a hybrid of Rapunzel and her tower and the esophagus + voice box + etc. area. They were so fun to create!

Fall 2017 #1

I took a Painting I class last semester, thus the onslaught of more non-digital paintings. I also thought it might be cool to see how I progressed, and you can progress, and got better just within the span of a few months with constant work. For this painting, we were supposed to copy a classical piece, mostly for the purpose of learning how to work with colors better but also for going through the process of painting without the added strain of deciding composition, etc. I chose Robert de Niro, Sr. by Elaine de Kooning (the seriously underrated wife of Willem de Kooning, whom you probably have heard more about).

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Willem made this. Woman V. And other unsettling, derogatory paintings of women, imho.

Fall 2017 #2

Assignment: To paint a container and tell a story with it. It was also an exercise to prepare us for more serious painting assignments. This box tells the story of me, and my life. See if you can figure it out. 😉 Oh! By the way, all these paintings from fall 2017 were created with oil paints. Which I hadn't really touched before this class.

Fall 2017 #3

Self-portrait, in the style of Rosie the Riveter, but re-made for my purposes and for a more modern take. This one is painted on a canvas that I made myself, with help from the professor of course, but most of the grunt work was done by moi and that makes me so proud. You can work from a mirror or a picture for a self-portrait. I chose to work from a picture so I could focus better and not have to worry about making the exact same pose and expression, especially since I chose a harder pose. THAT FACE ANGLE. *cries for days*

Fall 2017 #4
This was our last project, guided by the requirement of lots of textures. I seriously regretted everything when I was painting those five million leaves omg. But, it's turned out to be my favorite out of the class by far. I think I was finally falling into a more established rhythm of style and brush strokes and colors. 

BUT KEEP IN MIND as the whole purpose of this blog post--I didn't start out this way. Not by a long shot. This is after three years of being an college art student. The point is, change will come but it's not instant, so don't be too disappointed by what you see now, because if you keep going, it will change. 

P.S. There's More

Keep in mind, I also painted this during Fall 2017.

And had to redo the hydrangea flowers.

You definitely got this.


  1. I thought the title was "Will I ever get better at planting??" at first, in reference to the plants you left at home, and I was already in the process of pulling a skeptical/dubious face when I realized my mistake. But um yeah! Great progress ;)

    1. XD thank you

      Although I can't decide if you're insulting my ability to nurture plants or your reading skills ;)

  2. Oh another painter! I loved getting to see your art style evolve.
    Beautiful work!

    1. Thank you so much!! ^_^

      Oh *shy grin* I don't know if I would call myself a painter... I just paint every once in a while 😊


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