It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. I just came down from a very busy season in my ministry as well as a season of secret commissions. I feel like I went off the grid for a while!
I wanted to show you a new piece of art I’m working on, and derive a couple thoughts about life and art from it. Recently, I’ve been dreaming about doing some artwork of African animals. Something different creates a new level of excitement, and I’m hoping these new subjects will appeal to a new or varied audience as well. I began a new piece of a male African Lion, it’s piercing eyes and confidence are captivating. I decided to draw him on a large 16x20 Bristol Board so I can capture as much detail as possible. He will take some time because of the size, but I’m hoping the end result will be worth it! Here’s a picture of my base drawing:
So, not a lot to that, right? It’s almost too light to see the detail. But you see, sometimes the start to something is too vague for those around you to understand. As an artist, I can see in my mind’s eye what this drawing will look like. I can imagine the layers, the dimensions, the details, the lighting. It actually excites me to see a great base drawing, because where others see a couple scratches with a pencil, I see potential! Maybe you’re just seeing a few scratches of potential in something in your life. Don’t let go of the dream, even if it seems like it’s going to take longer than you’d like, or take more effort and skill than you think you might possess. It’s in the challenge of the process that you receive the most fruit and satisfaction. God actually delights in the process because it creates depth of character in us that we’d never define if we got what we wanted immediately.
Next, I avoid the main subject and define the background. It might not seem like the background matters, but it creates the context within which the subject will take shape. In fact, the background was there first, so it can’t be an afterthought otherwise the subject will look out of place. Don’t neglect the background things in your life - it’s what creates the context for the main subject!
Once you define your context, it’s time to bring life to your idea. In wildlife art, the life is in the eye. I decided to bring his eyes in to focus first - his intensity will keep me focused on bringing the other details into focus. Almost as if he’s begging to be finished! Take your time on the details. If you feel restless, stop and recoup. If you rush life, you’ll regret the things you miss, and especially the things you’ll have to go back and fix. These two eyes took about three hours to draw. But I’ll never regret taking that time - it’s the first part of the lion most people will see when they view this drawing:
Don’t forget to keep the whole picture in mind when you’re focused on the little details. Remember, it’s all valuable, so keep pulling back to make sure the details compliment the whole. It may take some time to see the whole thing start to come together, and likely you’ll experience an ‘ugly ducking’ faze in any dream. But stick with it. Whether you’re making art, building a family, focusing on a career, pouring into a ministry, or building a hobby, you’ll never regret the process. PROCESS is a joy, not a drag. Enjoy it!
Thanks for following along - I’m just getting started on this lion. The process is going to be fun! Stay tuned.
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