It’s Ok To Have An Off Sketch Day

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Hello Everyone,

I just wanted to say that it’s ok to have an off sketch day.

This happened to me this week, two days in a row really which frustrated me at the time but it taught me another important lesson, well two really.

I thought I would try something a bit different and do a male face rather than a female one for a change.  I did a really nice sketch in a green pencil for a change.

                       It's Ok To Have An Off Sketch Day

So I thought I would do one in another colour but with a male face.  So off I went on Pinterest in search of references that inspired me, and found a really striking one. I got my H2 pencil out as I like to do outlines sketches with that and proceeded to follow the Loomis method to lay it out.  Well, it took me five or six attempts and lots of rubbing out to get something I thought was ok.  I was struck by how tricky I found it but I pushed through as it was something I had not done in a long time.

Lesson One

While sketching I did have one of those teeny tiny feelings that was like ‘don’t think I am really feeling this’ but as is customary for most people I just brushed it aside like I did and think, ‘don’t give up’ ‘push through’, ‘don’t be a quitter just because it’s difficult’. 

Then the following day I started the shading with the coloured pencil and all the while that feeling got stronger ‘not feeling this’ and I carried on for a bit taking my time with it.  After about 20 minutes I realised that I really was not feeling it at all, I was not enjoying it, don’t know why or for what reason I just was not feeling that particular sketch. 

The idea was good but doing it, no and that was lesson one, listen to those subtle feelings, especially the ones of I’m not feeling it.  If you are not feeling it at the start it’s not going to get any better.  There is a distinct difference between a challenge or practicing to overcome something or get better at something and not feeling in sync with it.

                It's Ok To Have An Off Sketch Day

Lesson Two

After realising that I REALLY was not feeling it I then very quickly learn’t the second lesson.  It’s perfectly ok to have an off sketch day or idea.  There is nothing bad in it or anything to be ashamed of.  It is really just a lesson to be learn’t a personal teachable moment. It has not put me off trying to sketch a male face as I will try another one.  It’s just that that particular one just wasn’t for me but I am grateful for the lessons it taught me and because of that I don’t feel bad at all.

I wanted to share this little personal experience as I think as artists we can be very harsh on ourselves and overly critical.  It’s perfectly ok to have an off sketch, just let it go and move onto the next one.

To see my sketches for the week see my Instagram account @zoebadgerart.

Happy Sketching


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