Yesterday I was writing about not covering up mistakes. I realized that I actually do one sort of covering up, which is that I keep drawing over things, as you can see in the above sketch—but the error remains visible.
And then there are times when I totally cover all my ink lines with gouache or Stabilo Tone, but that is done not in an effort to cover "mistakes" (though certainly some get covered), but to bring the sketch up to some sort of level of "finished" painting. The urge there is to keep working and refine something which is a totally different mental attitude from "that's wrong let's hide it." I would really like people to consider how they phrase things in their minds when they work because they can be doing the work of their internal critic for him if they aren't careful.
I was going to take today off from the blog and then in reading the comments to yesterday's post I remembered this sketch. Look closely right at the gutter just behind the dog's nose. You'll see a little flip stroke of ink that was the original nostril.
I'm always getting porportions off when I work across the gutter, but that isn't going to stop me from working across the gutter. I find it fun, and good PRACTICE.
Now, seeing the piece scanned and reduced I can more clearly see that I shouldn't have second-guessed myself about the length of the nose. The original placement right at the gutter was better. It was the depth that wasn't quite right. I needed to focus on that measurement more.
Of course the best thing would have been to move the eye (which is where I started) one way or the other and get the nose away from the gutter in the first place!
I'm not very familiar with pit bulls and their measurements, but they have stubbier muzzles than this. Here the dog ends up looking like an odd Wiem.
The point is, while I've put some gouache over the muzzle to draw attention to the final nose and away from the first nose, I can still see it and I'm glad. It reminds me to pay more attention to the measurements I actually see—especially with dog breeds I'm unfamiliar with, and to try to stay away from the siren call of the gutter!
But the main thing is I remember how fun it was to make those lines with the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen, late at night, winding down, wishing I actually had a dog to walk. (This dog was on a TV show I was watching, and since I hadn't drawn all day I grabbed the pen.)
What's up with that striped background you wonder? I simply wanted to feel the paint come off the brush. A breathing exercise, just to ease back into life. I had hot Thai curry for a late dinner and wasn't even nearly ready to sleep.
Anyway, we can add this one to the happy mistakes pile that I love in my journals. I wish you many happy mistakes.