Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Flashlight Tag & Artwork Do-Overs

This is the finished art for this sketch from ages ago. (My lame excuse: I have been really, really busy!)

Maybe it's that color fatigue thing kicking in again, but I'm not sure if I like how this piece turned out. Then again, tomorrow I might love it. This happens to me more often than I'd like to admit, and many times I end up re-doing the art only to end up liking the first one better. (Picture my family rolling their eyes when I get like this...)

I've gotten better about the doubting (I put the art in a drawer for a while), but it's still rather frustrating. Maybe it's just a normal part of the process.

Does this happen to you? How often do you re-do pieces? Or do you just call it a wash and chalk it up to experience?


Frank Gardner said...

Oh, I had forgotten about this one.
I know exactly what you mean. I'll often over work a piece from fatigue of looking at it too long. I now try to do just what you say. I stop and set it aside or hang it in a frame somewhere around my house. Once I have taken a break I can decide whether it needs more or if it is just fine.
Sometimes I'll take one too far and it just needs to hit the trash or I will do another one.
All of those experiences make us who we are as artists.
Personally, I like how it came out.

Jennifer Thermes said...

Well, it's comforting to know I'm not the only one. You're right-- it does make us who we are-- and besides, at least I usually learn something new from each piece. Maybe that should be the goal...

gail said...

Sometimes I have to get used to a piece being finished. It's hard knowing when to stop. But after a week so so it will start to feel done. Maybe it's all about letting go for me since I tend to work slow. I do have one piece I've been thinking of re-doing that I was never happy with.

I too like how "Flashlight Tag" turned out.


Christine Mercer-Vernon said...

i know exactly what you mean. i have many paintings, 'set aside' right now. i think it turned out well. love the trees in the upper left and your cross hatching details add some very very nice texture. i know scans are usually less vibrant, but i think the colors here are quite jewel-like. very nice Jennifer.

Tom Barrett said...

I think it depends on the vision you had for the particular illustration. I have come to accept (partly) that what I see in my head is not what will end up on the paper. And we are all our own very worst critic, and that keeps us from moving forward or moving on. It is why it is hard for me to start an illustration, though I am better than when I first began my "journey!" :)

Perhaps with such a wide gap in between the sketch and the color, some of your inspiration and love of the illo may have waned a bit. I think this one is great, like all your art.

Jennifer Thermes said...

Thanks, Gail! I know what you mean about letting it go, and here's that ongoing knowing-when-to-stop theme again!

And thanks, Christine! I've been playing with the balance between cross-hatching and the color. I do tend to love line work and texture. As far as the colors- it's such a struggle with the scanner and the printer, trying to match them to the original art. I guess that happens to everyone though, unless you work digitally.

Tom, you are very kind! It's true, sometimes it's hard to get back into a piece with a long time lapse. I try to avoid that but life gets in the way sometimes! And you hit the nail on the head with the "vision" and "worst-critic" thing. All part of the process I suppose...

Alicia Padrón said...

I really like this one Jennifer :o)
I think maybe you have mixed feelings about it because I can see that the color scheme is a bit different than what you usually do. But I think it really works here and is perfect for the mood of this piece.

About your question, well for me is not easy, usually if I don't like a finished illustration there is no "saving" it. I hardly ever change my mind. Sometimes I don't know why I don't like it and that really bugs me.. but it is very hard for me to see it and then like it. Now If I'm in the process of illustrating and I don't like it at a particular stage that is different, I know I have to keep on going because it can really change and I really like the outcome then.

I've come to realize that there is no recipe to follow when it comes to these things. We just have to trust our instincts and keep at it.

Jennifer Thermes said...

Alicia-- Yes, I was trying to go darker here, so it was a bit different. And yes, sometimes you do have to work through an icky stage to get to a good final. Funny how that works.

Tell me, since you work in watercolor too-- do you find it hard to match your scans and printouts to the original piece? Know any good tricks? I'm wondering if it's just my hardware.

Alicia Padrón said...

Well, I really don't do anything but alter the contrast of a piece.

My hubby is the high-tech here so he calibrated the monitor with a little gadget that you stick to the screen and makes the color very true, what you see in the screen is very similar to what you print. Also for the scanner he calibrated it with a color chart card that he scans and makes the color match a lot.

I find that my colors don't really change much. I like how it scans. Some colors are a bit more difficult to maintain some times but I'm really happy with the overall performance of my scanner.

Jennifer Thermes said...

Ahh... maybe I need to look into calibration. So far I manage by tweaking in Photoshop. Wish I was a techy. ¡Gracias, amiga!

Anonymous said...

Hey there, it's Greg!! I am not an artist (is fatherhood an art?) but I think that makes me a better judge since you aren't illustrating for other artists. My casual, untrained eye says "I really like it". It captures the simplicity of kids at play like when I was young. No cost involved & no parents grooming them to be the next sports star.
If you want my non-artist critique: His neck & foot are a little long. He looks more concerned than "engaged in play". I would have preferred to see the kids hiding behind more than 1 tree (maybe a stone well or bush added). I also feel like their faces lack a little too much detail, even at that distance. The trees on the left look good but seem unrealistically dense in the far bkgrd.

Sometimes I say a word repeatedly in my head & it becomes foreign. I love words the way you love books (nerd)& illustrating. As others have said, you just have to let things sit. When I revisit random satirical office "comics" I've done, they still make me laugh out loud. I always say I could have made something funnier. But if I hesitated to finish when I 1st created it, I wouldn't have made dozens of co-workers laugh out loud. LOVE YOUR WORK! See you @ the next family outing.

Jennifer Thermes said...

Hi Greg-- Um... thanks for being so honest... some good things to think about. I guess when I illustrate I'm going more for a mood and feeling rather than an exact representation of reality.