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  1. #1
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    Environment Painting_ How to get your morale back up?

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    So here are the sketches/paintings that I have been working on. I get really excited when I finish some thumbnail sketches or line drawings, then when the time came for coloring, I chickened out. I tried to sit myself down and put in the work no matter how hard it was to stay motivated. I read that if you don't enjoy what you are painting, people won't enjoy looking at it. So I wonder should I keep pushing myself to finish what I started for the shake of learning even if it makes me miserable ?

    Main question_ how do you stay motivated and enjoy the work when you feel like you can't even. :'(

    Thank you for any advice, help! I Appreciate your time and thoughts.


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  3. #2
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    I'm guessing your chickening out because your afraid of failing? First, all of these are digital, so if you want to keep the file before you continue just make a copy or paint on a new layer. You can always go back or just keep the unfinished version. It's not like a traditional painting where if you mess up you lose what you worked on. Second.... failing is fun if you let it be! I could be wrong, but it sounds to me like the reason your not motivated and don't enjoy it is simply because you fear messing up.

    May I ask what is so bad about messing up? If that is the reason then that's what you need to work on. Stop letting that fear rule you. The more you mess up, the more you "fail" the more your going to learn! Not everything you make is going to be amazing works of art that make others happy. In fact, it's better that you do tons of work that isn't necessarily meant to work out. You need to change that mind set and enjoy putting down colour and line regardless of how it turns out. The more you do it the less scary it becomes, and the more you mess up, the less you fail as time goes by. Personally I believe it's better to fail as much as possible, because I have grown as an artist so much faster as I learn from my mistakes.

    So in my opinion. Yes, push yourself to finish even if it takes all your effort, because you might just start to find it fun once you break past that barrier. (also don't focus on the fact that it makes you miserable, don't think about failing, just think about colours and shapes and enjoy the process. Changing your mindset and focusing on the positive does amazing things for your motivation!) Remember you don't even have to work on something in one sitting too. If you start to feel really unhappy then stop, and if you really hate it then don't go back to it. However like I said, if you change your focus you might even start to find it fun.

    Edit: one more point. If it's not a fear of failure holding you back, maybe it's your way of painting your not finding fun? Maybe try some new tools or software if that's the case? Sometimes changing things up is all we need.
    Last edited by HeathWalsh; March 10th, 2017 at 09:59 AM.

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  5. #3
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    Main question_ how do you stay motivated and enjoy the work when you feel like you can't even. :'(
    Draw with a goal and a purpose. Hells bells - even write down what you are trying to accomplish. "I need an environment of type X". Then list out what should go in it, colors, etc. Check off each step from thumb nail to larger picture. When your objectives are complete (notice I said objectives and not your actual product) then be done with it. Maybe give yourself a timeline.
    The commentary is just a gift to you.

  6. #4
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    One thing that could be scaring you is that you might be biting off more than you can chew, so to speak. With your perspective room picture above, its a massive undertaking to finish something like that to a fine polish. If you want to practice finishing a piece, maybe start on a smaller scale. Like if you want to practice perspective, colour, light and all the things that go into a finished painting, maybe just try to paint a single building, like a barn or some other simple building. Bring it to completion as far as you can go in a certain amount of time.

    Get it all planned out like modi mentioned. Then when you finish that, you will feel satisfaction of completing something as well as have more confidence for a larger more complex piece. Just an idea!

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  8. #5
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    I agree with Chris. Your concepts are not bad by any means. They are very imaginative and your environments are blurry, but have real potential. But when you try to take on too much you set yourself up for failure. It's not that these paintings are 'too hard' for you to complete. You could do it, but how much will you struggle along the way? You need to put one foot in front of the other.

    I've been painting for years now, and I still don't feel totally confident with a still life with one object. one object on a table. ​There is always more to learn. I've tried a lot of similar compositions to the ones you've shown to varying degrees of success, but at the end of the day it just showed me how far I have left to go. Because if I still have more to learn about basics, I'm just wasting my time with lofty compositions that have hundreds of components.

    If this experience resonates with you maybe you should consider taking a step back! Do some studies of still lifes, simple landscapes, whatever you need to work on, whether it's lighting or composition. And you might be more fulfilled because you will see actual growth and solidify skills you already have. It will probably also make you feel more confident to do something you are completely comfortable with once in a while just to show you what you can do already.

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  10. #6
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    Chris Fraser and JoeCowan both have really good points! I'm actually thankful for this too, because I tend to push myself to hard at times, trying to go far beyond what I'm comfortable with. It's an extremely good idea to step back and do simpler images to get used to adding details and finishing paintings. (I'll be keeping this in mind)

    If you happen to want to try and complete your full images as well as trying simpler images (I know this is how I feel) then what they said made me think... maybe you could take small part of it and instead of seeing it as a huge image you have to complete, just work on completing that one area? Then if you feel like doing more pick another area. That way you can gain experience working on it without it becoming totally overwhelming.

  11. #7
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    Step at a time, young Jedi, step at a time. Your "taken from nature" paintings are excellent. When you take the show into a temple, you tighten up the lines and use hard edges. Maybe this wasn't what you meant to say in the first place. If you are losing "motivation" what I'm saying is probably correct.
    I don't know what your concept thumbnails look like. I do not care. If soft-edge mountainscapes seem right to you, you probably will never be happy with sharp-edged illustration, so it would be dishonest ot me to tell you (how) to do it.

  12. #8
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    Thank you so much for your advice!
    HeathWalsh, you are right, I found out that drawing on the tablet all the time is not that appealing to me so I returned to sketch more on paper and learn how to paint from the old masters too.


    Modi123, Thank you! I set up goals now and timeline too. It feels a lot more attainable and less scary.

    Chris, and Joe _ I completely agree and I did not realize this. I tried to take on too much and stressed myself out. I only started really drawing for about a month now on the tablet. Because I only have 3 months to develop my skills so I looked pass learning and jump straight to creating. Sounds suicidal now that I think of it. I will slow down and learn how to crawl before I can even stand up, lol. Still life always spelled boring to me before but after your words and a few books I read on Impressionism/painting I think I can enjoy doing it and learning from it.

    Lalle, Thank you, master! I just got out of architecture, so maybe that fear is still in me _"the hard edges". Still I don't know what I want to do yet. I enjoyed looking at environment concept art so I gave it a try. It was also because research showed me that environment artists have a better chance of getting jobs. (>__<) I am like an infant in this field so there are still a lot of discoveries to be made about the art world and myself. But I will take your advice to be honest with myself (and courageous too, lots and lots of this one)

    Here is a fun painting I did for a coworker. I enjoy character more than environment but I will push myself to learn to do both. ahhhh
    http://rubidotrinh.deviantart.com/ar...Nina-666769865

  13. #9
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    I can understand that feeling too.
    When I'm demotivate about my art I start to do masterstudies. I find them really boring (but very useful!) and usually I don't like to do them.
    After a couple, or more, my mind can't wait to do imaginative stuff and I feel like recharged. Is like do school homework and after have the
    chance to play freely in the garden.
    Another method I use is working at 2 completely different paint at the same time. When I feel overwhelmed about one, I switch to the other. This give me the
    possibility to have fresh eyes and find new energy without get trapped in one image. Of course every one has personal motivational-tricks
    (ok, maybe mine are too extreme)...what I want to tell you is that frustration is really common in our field. You are not alone!
    I totally agreed about what Modi, Lalle, Chris, Heath and Joe said. Make little steps,enjoy messing up (and think that you are anyway learning),
    change tools if you don't feel comfortable. Go inside your painting and think that you are creating a world. Your world. Think a story behind and live
    this adventure. And if it sucks, you did anyway a wonderful journey and you will be ready for the next one.

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