Stop Whispering

At long last: the full-color version of the “Whispering Wall” piece sees the digital light of day.

Click here for a link back to the sepia-toned version that was published previously and which was posted to Illustration Friday.

Distance may or may not make the heart grow fonder, but it often clears the mind.  But sometimes gaining this perspective is a luxury.

I’ve set up a lot of situations where I’m forced to produce a finished piece in a very short amount of time, which often means there’s little time to “set the work on the shelf” and take a break from it.  The model sessions are two hours, period.  Illustration Friday offers one week to take a theme from concept to completion – and it’s nice to post it prior to the last day.  Rush, rush.  And so it goes.

The benefits of these deadlines – and the reason I gravitate toward them – is that it forces an artist to a) complete a project and b) not over-think things.

However, a lot is gained when you have the time to walk away from a work-in-progress.  It’s best if you can actually wait long enough that you almost forget what you were doing in the first place.  A lot of the emotion that was wrapped in the moment of creation falls away in the meantime.  When you do see the art again after a break, you’ll be better to see where things don’t work as well as you thought.  And just as likely, you can appreciate what IS working without all the frustrations that you experienced in the prior working session.

That’s what happened here.  Looking at this piece weeks later, the colors appear more vibrant than I had thought at the time.  They’re not very inventive – just pinks for skin tone, and some fairly straightforward highlights and shadows – but they work.

Whispering Wall II - color

So let me know which version you like best.  Did I choose the right one to publish on I.F.?  If not, it’s hardly the end of the world.  Looking at them both now, I’d say it’s a coin-toss to pick a favorite.

What have been *your* experiences with gaining perspective after taking a break from something?

This entry was published on March 31, 2013 at 1:57 pm. It’s filed under Digital Drawing, Figures, Illustration Friday, The Artistic Process and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

11 thoughts on “Stop Whispering

  1. My vote is the sepia version. I think the lack of color contrast in it brings more focus to the characters and what they’re doing.

  2. I think I prefer the color version; it has more depth to it, and there is nothing in the subject matter (at least for me) that is enhanced by the sepia tone. As other comments have noted, the rich, warm colors add a certain amount of grandiosity, especially the gold railing, and the red shirt pops of the foreground.

    In regards to leaving a piece of work and returning to it, as a writer it is my preferred method for longer works, although it has come back to bite me. If I return with a dispassionate approach, intending to either flesh out what I had originally written during my first passionate rush, or else clean up the (perhaps overly ambitious) initial composition, it can work for me very well. If I instead come back to it with a different sensibility, I have been known to destroy the original work by trying to warp it out of line with the original vision.

  3. Ben G on said:

    Hello Gabe-

    I like the color version. The yellows and warms colors really pop, especially when held against the sepia version. What I like most about the picture though is the curvature of the wall and railing along with the arches.

  4. I like the sepia simply because the cropping for me, better illustrates the prompt.

  5. I like the color version better, too. It gives the painting more interest, brightness, and especially in the railing more depth.

  6. Gabriel, for me, I like the colour version. The yellow seems to give a more ‘grand’ feel to it, and the shadows seem to be bolder. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t like the version you went with!
    To answer your question about taking a break from something – I always find I have a problem getting back into it once again, when I return… but I like your tip on leaving artwork to one side for a while. It makes sense; and I always tend to rush what I do to get things finished. I’m sure things could be improved if I took a little more time. I shall try it and see what I come up with…

    • I make no claim that my method is the best way to do anything… it doesn’t even always for me. While I’m not much given to sweeping proclamations, I will say this: creating is better than not creating, so whatever it takes to actually *be* creative – that’s what a person should do.

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