I have had this bad habit of starting an artwork and leaving it incomplete. I believe that is rather common for artists but past few weeks that has really started to annoy me. Having all these unfinished drawings and no clear idea on when to complete those.
Then the works are randomly popping into my mind and taking up precious creative space. Mind Purification is a piece I started in June 2017. I had this idea of drawing some kind of demon but it never solidified to anything.
So a few weeks ago I decided that I had to complete the unfinished works I have (this was in October 2017). This was so that I could free up space in my mind for new stuff. I also decided that I would complete every work I start before moving on to the next one.
When I have a blank canvas next to me I also have a fresh mind and creativity towards it and no baggage from the past. I truly think you can be more creative when you have only one thing you put your heart into. We as creative persons have this ever-flowing idea stream so to speak coming to our mind and head. I sometimes get these nice ideas and I put some of that idea into a canvas.
However what happens next is that the creativity somehow goes away and you have a blank mind. Then the next thing pops into your mind at some random time and yet again you put that on the canvas.
Now we have accumulated drawings but nothing is finished nothing is brought to the light it deserves. What if all those creative moments were put to one painting? Trying to transform that idea in your head to the painting you have in front of you rather than starting a new one. This is something I am trying to infuse into my art creation technique.
Work out the mind
With this particular piece, I didn’t use too much reference images and draw more from the head than from some image. I did use an old image as a base but I never got the right feeling for the idea I had in my head (drawing a demon of some kind).
This was also the one drawing that was left in the back and never got it finished. So that was the reason I came back to it, to finalize the design and to really purify my mind from this one. I did, however, pick reference and inspiration from the following book: P4U Super Official Design Works. The book has around 431 pages and is a good buy for anyone interested in cel shading. Shigenori Soejima does some excellent cel shade art.
Shigenori Soejimas’ art style is very established and I picked some cool ideas from the artworks. It is always a different thing to see the images in a physical form rather than in a digital form.
Progress through ideas
This drawing went through iteration after iteration. I was trying my best to get it to look like a demon but in the end, it just didn’t go that way. This was the turning point to transform this painting to a Mind Purification. Really get those ideas out of my head and get this piece completed.
Sketch and sketch
What is usually very hard for me is to stick with one drawing and not pouring all ideas into one drawing. I usually start a new drawing with something that just popped into my mind. With time I have all these unfinished drawings and not so much completed ones.
Every time something came to my mind I put it in this drawing. For e.g. the helmet and the cubes. They were not part of the plan at the beginning but they came to my mind and I wanted to add those to the drawing and make it work.
Standard Rough Pencil brush was used to get the sketch completed. Time to time I varied between different Rouch Pencils.
Flow to the drawing
The cubes present the creative fluid that runs in my mind. It comes and goes but it also infuses to the drawings I have in progress. I wanted to create this piece very fluid and moving and the cubes gave me that motion I needed.
Volume before colors
I knew from the start that this drawing was going to give me a challenge with the colors. So I decided to draw the shadows first, giving it volume before choosing any color. I did have this idea from the start that the eyes and face would be covered in darkness and that the eyes would be lit brightly. That was all the idea I had for the coloring.
First I thought to use orange for the liquid inside the cubes and using some sort of greenish colors for other parts. Orange presenting creative energy and such. It just didn’t feel right. So I thought to give the creative liquid a bright, golden yellow color as the eyes had the same feel and vibe.
Kind of connecting the mind’s eye and the creativity you have. Complementary colors have always worked in my eyes. I decided to use purple, violet’ish colors for the other parts and use this mysterious liquid for the cubes. I think violet liquid presents better this creative liquid as it is always a part of a mystery what you eventually draw to the canvas and what it transforms in to.
Finalize and feel creative again
Finalizing the image is always a fun part, as it is also the time when you are kind of free from the drawing. Your mind can finally roam free and create new images and drawings. I added some gradient like light coloring coming beneath.
Also added some shading here and there where it was still missing. I created a copy of the whole illustration to a new layer (CTRL + SHIFT + ALT + E) and duplicate it. With the duplicated layer, I place a gaussian blur 18.00 and reduce the opacity to around 35%. I also duplicate the blurred image and set it to softlight and reduce the opacity to 25%.
This is done to intensify the colors a bit. I call the image complete and set off to new adventures.
Hopefully, this article gave you new ways to approach drawing. Do leave a comment below and tell us your favorite way of clearing your mind 🙂