Hey peeps! Here’s a post that has nothing to do with porn or hentai or anything adult for that matter, but I figured it would be nice to document somewhere this small journey of creativity that I took over the month of August.

Not to get too personal, but I’ve been struggling with late stage burnout for some time now, and have been looking into other ways to be creative or stretch my artistic brain muscle that has gone largely neglected for the past few years in many ways. A lot of the time I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing, and I’m just drawing porn because it’s porn, and struggle a lot to do even the simplest things with my art as if I’m forgetting the basic fundamentals of what it means to be an artist, and what it means to use your imagination to create a nice artwork, whether it’s porn or otherwise.

So I decided to take this month long class by an artist I’ve followed and admired for a few years called Ten Hundred. I don’t usually have enough money on hand to throw at things like this, but I made it work because I didn’t want to miss another opportunity! I’m super glad I did. Ten Hundred has been a big inspiration to me since I discovered him on YouTube a few years ago so it’s been my privilege to take the class and get access to some of the inner working parts of his brain and how his creative process works, I can say I definitely learned a LOT!

I’ve never been one to touch traditional media very often, art supplies intimidate me and “I don’t want to ruin these beautiful art supplies” so I often find myself avoiding traditional media as if it bit me in the ass one day as a small child and shook me in the air. This year I’ve done more with traditional tools than I have in my entire life I think, and it’s re-lit some kind of artistic fire in my brain that I’m grateful for!

Now on to the project, I did my best to document it from start to finish, I will say the most entertaining part for me was definitely right at the start, while the painting process was much more zen. I finished an audio book during this time and started a new one, which is so rare for me.

The first ‘lesson’ in this class was to “Draw for 40 minutes without stopping”. I’m easily distracted by everything, which is probably why I feel like my art takes way longer to do than it actually does, so I made sure to do this step in total silence. No music, no audio book, no TV, no phone. I just sat with my sketchpad under the window and doodled away. I made sure to ‘get over myself’ and not overthink this process or this drawing, I didn’t draw it with the idea in mind that in the end I would show it to anyone, I just doodled whatever came to mind, which happened to be things around me as inspiration. Some dog toys, my meditation pillow, seashells on my shelf, mushrooms on the counter. It was just a silly time and I enjoyed it thoroughly, it was very therapeutic.

Before this there was very little instruction given about how to and what to draw, it was just kind of a ‘throw you out there and see what happens’ moment, and I’m mega pleased with the result. Everyone I’ve shown it to (of course I ended up showing it to people, okay?!) thinks its really cool, so that’s awesome. I would redo this pic in a better way, but I’m afraid it would lose that magic it has to it, so I’m just going to leave it be.

After this we were instructed to come up with some original characters that we’d be putting in to our painting. Admittedly I kind of slacked here, as I’m not used to creating characters on the fly so easily, but I came up with some that I never would have thought of before (including animals, what?!) So ultimately I’m pleased with what I was able to jot down. We were then told to draw our characters in the art style of 3 artists who inspire us, this part was the hardest for me and I began to choke up on the process, and I only ended up doing 2 drawings inspired by art styles that inspire me (adventure time and gorillaz).

Also I just want to take a quick moment here to acknowledge that I NEVER DO THIS. I never doodle before I start a project, I never warm-up anymore, I never do quickie concept art before I dive in. It’s liberating and important and freeing and I’m upset that I’ve fallen so far out of this habit.

Next was the part that I think I got my money’s worth out of this class with. This is the stage I found most valuable as an artist and will retain forever, and feel like it will change my entire artistic process when it comes to personal art that I make for myself. You’re given a short list of concepts of which you choose 3 or 4. From these 4 concepts you brainstorm words and themes that you think fit in to what represents these concepts. You choose a few of your favorites from each, and add them in to the rough concept for your painting.

I could kind of already see what I wanted to do in my head, just by this scribbly piece of paper. Much of the elements in my sketchy concept got left out of the end product, which I’m a little sad about, but knowing myself very well at this point I didn’t want to get overwhelmed and never finish. I’m proud to say I only fell behind schedule by a day, twice, during the whole month of the class.

I thought this sketch was so cool and cute and if it was a digital process I would’ve easily bitten off the whole thing and then some, but having only touched acrylic paints one other time in my life (and failing, and not finishing) I told myself I needed to tone this thing way down. There will be plenty of time in the future to challenge myself and go further. So I began transferring my concept to a large piece of bristol paper (which turned out to be too small compared to my canvas) and was off to the races.

Because I did my concept in a different composition than I ended up wanting to continue with, my finished pencil drawing was much different. I liked my concept better, but again, didn’t want to overwhelm myself and never finish.

I didn’t want to mess up my original pencil drawing, so I printed out my drawing on some printer paper and used that for the graphite transfer to the canvas (I could only find carbon transfer paper, which worked fine). It was also a lot easier on my arm, since the bristol was so thick it would’ve taken the strength of King Kong to get it to translate to the wood.

Unfortunately I didn’t take a photo of the panel before I went over it with a thin (not thin enough) wash, but there’s not really a lot to it. I ended up not thinning my paint enough and it was going on thick, covering my transferred carbon lines, so I tried brushing it with water which was making things worse. In the end I only lost a small chunk, but I went over it with pencil again afterwards in some spots anyway. This was all after a few layers of gesso and sanding, which i didn’t know you had to do. Stoked to have learned stuff like this throughout this process.

Then came the actual painting part. Now was when I really started to sweat, because I had such a shitty experience last time I used acrylics, I was already expecting utter failure and disappointment. I started painting in the background color, and realized I might not have done enough layers of gesso as the wood grain was still super deep and the paint wasn’t getting the best coverage. Must’ve been a combined issue of cheap as fuck wood panels and fluid acrylics which have a thinner body than your standard acrylics.

Instead of panicking, I decided to just go over it with multiple layers and continue on in the process. It’s pretty straight forward from here, doing one thing at a time, starting from the back and working your way forward to the best of your ability.

Here’s the final product. I ran into some bumps and stuff along the way during the process and while varnishing (all a learning experience, right?) but ultimately I am totally happy with the result, and the knowledge I learned along the way, and the creative flame that was reignited in me because of it. Getting out of my comfort zone is apparently a huge deal for me, I hope it inspires any of you to try the same.

If anyone reading this is interested in the class, I highly recommend it. Here’s a link, he should hopefully offer the class again soon!

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