SEP.19.2012 - Dedicated to Mastering Technique

I'm certainly my biggest critic, holding myself to professional expectations even though I don't yet consider myself professional. I frequently compare my work along side those of my favorite concept artists. I think as an amateur artist like myself it's a great way to gauge if my drawings are at a professional level. How confident was I with each brush stroke? How long did this take to draw? Is the paintings foundation accurate? Is the design unique and appealing? Does it capture feelings that brings the concept to life? This is how I gauge my transformation from amateur to professional. The biggest thing between me and a career in concept art is how I answer these questions.

The environment painting I'll describe working on if you keep reading. Continue.
I recently read this passage in the book The War of Art by Steven Pressfield:

"The professional dedicates himself to mastering technique not because he believes technique is a substitute for inspiration but because he wants to be in possession of the full arsenal of skills when inspiration does come."

I thought about this for a few days after I read it and in that time continued working on pieces for my portfolio. I felt like I was forcing each stroke into the painting like trying to take my very resistant dog "the Stryder" for a walk. Everything was taking an unreasonable amount of time and it was not capturing the feelings I imagined in the concept to begin with. The flow of the image was stagnant, the image becoming more lifeless with each form added to it.

So what am I getting at? I'm altering my plan. I'm putting my portfolio on hold and going back to focusing on the basics, to dedicating myself to "mastering technique". I'll return to building my portfolio when I feel the confidence of a professional with every painting I do, when I can answer those questions above like the pro I have the potential to become and will become.

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