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Hey CA, I am a digital hobbyist and I have an nit-picking problem.
I know I have to practice to get my images where I want them to be, and I do gesture sketches and draw from my loomis book every week. With digital artwork though, I always seem to get strung up on each piece until I finish it. Even if it's an image I don't care about, one that's for fun or practice, I'll get hooked. I tell myself "Oh this is just for shits. I want to practice (insert anything)." Thirty hours later I'll still be redoing a hang nail on the left thumb. It won't even be that great.
It's really holding me back. I'm not sure if there or some secret, maybe I just need to commiserate, but how do other artists just tell themselves it isn't working? Has anyone else had this problem?
Save your work as different files constantly, step back and look where you previously were. This helps you to see at which point you've started to relentlessly polish (and stopped learning) and began to drain life from the work.
Work on multiple paintings at the same time. When you get frustrated with one move to another. Often a fresh perspective is all you need.
Sorry...the two replies so far are BS and don't address the problem. OK, maybe BS is too strong, but they miss the entire gist of the problem.
A "good" painting comes from a solid understanding of fundamental principles, they have to be there from the start. These fundamentals are literally, and figuratively, the foundation of the image and must be established at the very beginning of the process. If the foundation is weak, the image will suffer.
So the answer to the question "when do you give up on a painting?" is right from the start. If something isn't working or doesn't feel right I wipe it off and start over. If I'm further along on a piece and something feels/looks wrong I scrape off that passage and restate it.
A good rule to live by is never let something wrong stay. Every mark, every passage, every effect, should work together, building the image in the direction you want to take it. If you're lucky enough there are rare occasions where the painting literally tells you what it needs and where...this trippy place is akin to writers whose characters tell them what they will do next, sometimes to the complete surprise of the writer.
(More often with writing, though. I wish it would happen as often with painting.) (Or maybe not... I get the situations where a character does something unexpected and adds 20 pages to the plot. If that happened in a painting, I'd get a painting telling me it needs something that'll add 20 hours of work...)
I know how it feels. I tend to go to much in to details too even though i promised my self I wouldn't. To avoid it I try to work with big brushes and not zoom in to much, this makes it hard to work on tiny details which does nothing for the overall finished piece. Also since I'm working on a crappy laptop I cant work on to big paintings (and texture brushes are slow which is really annoying, I really need to get a better one soon) but that too makes it hard to render forever.
My Sketchbook http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=239346
-In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.-
when you stop drawing and start fiddling.
Scrapped it, started over on a bigger canvas.
Actually, it turned out better the second time. Things usually do.
My SketchBook http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=139784
http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=192127"Everything must serve the idea. The means used to convey the idea should be the simplest and clear. Just what is required. No extra images. To me this is a universal principle of art. Saying as much as possible with a minimum of means."-John Huston, Director
I recently tore a failed painting off the stretcher bars and threw it away. I could almost feel the weight being lifted off my shoulders as it went in the trash! I've learned that if I F up the initial stages, there's really no saving it and I need to just move on or I'll drive myself nuts.
Seems that you're getting hung up on the details, rather than focusing on the entire painting (as a whole). For me, I tend to not work over multiple areas of a painting, at the same time. When I find that I'm having some issues (usually due to drawing or incorrect values), I scrape off that part, step back and then try to resolve it. If I can't resolve it, I then move to other parts of the painting (freeing my mind from obsessing on that part of the problem).
When I'm ready, I go back to the issue that I had. If I still can't resolve it, I do some drawing studies and wait for the next day (to come back to the painting).
Usually, for me, It's easier to see my mistakes the next day (after my mind has rested).