Ava Jarvis Art
Ink and Watercolor Artist
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Art Process Blog

Ava blogs about the art process, art tips, and general art musings.

Progress Evaluation at the End of October 2016

Did I fail?

Well, hm. 

I'm gonna say no, I succeeded because I still learned and advanced. I'm learning to be kind to myself, because I spent much of October with my head crushed in by the US presidential election, which has been a godawful quagmire for everybody involved.

Some events in the news actively triggered my PTSD, and that is never fun and definitely never productive. In the very last week my mania also activated, which makes me more energetic in a I-screw-up-more-and-can't-concentrate kind of way, rather than anything, again, productive. Mania tends to elevate my PTSD in certain destructive aspects, so I spent much of my mental energy keeping that in check. 

And yet I still made an effort to learn. I didn't give up. Even if I hadn't managed to progress at all, even if I couldn't even do any art, I'd still not be giving up, because here I am still. 

Also lots of pro-level artists didn't manage to finish Inktober due to, well, having jobs and things. I mean, sure, it's an achievement to finish all of an Inktober and that's pretty awesome, but you can be awesome without doing it, too. 

Well then, so what did I do?

I clarified my philosophy on art, and developed more my methodology for self-teaching art. 

I learned how awesome Trello is for tracking all the things. 

I pushed myself to draw my first more serious, real media pen and ink piece, which took quite a bit of care, and also my practice at drawing straight lines paid off when I least expected it. 

I learned to sense when to stop drawing a thing, at least, some of the time. Also how to draw floof, and that broken lines are sometimes the bestest lines. 

I learned that crumpled paper and tinfoil balls are fascinating and instructive and very very helpful to draw. 

I learned some lilies don't look like a stereotypical lily, a lot of thought needs to go into a more serious drawing, batwing kittens are an adorable thought, and photography is something I maybe should do to understand composition much more quickly (thanks to my art tutor for teaching me this).

I learned how to use conte crayon—a bit, though I'm not yet brave enough to lay down enough pigment where warranted—and that desaturating an image is great for eyeing values without the distraction of color. 

Thumbnailing as a useful thing was impressed upon me even more, for so many things. 

I can draw better little sketches than I could even at the beginning of October. I'm doing much better at proportions and I'm starting to tackle the idea of cloth folds and warps. 

Flamingos are quite obviously dinosaurs when you stare at them up close. 


I'm able to draw recognizable faces now, celebrity photographs are almost never good to work from, older faces are much more interesting to draw, markers have a more preparatory function in professional work, and I need to improve my face study game. 

Also new mediums involve so much more study and work to start to learn, much less getting up to beginner levels in them. 

More stuff too, but those are the main things, apart from Squarespace being awesome (even though it's not free). 

What comes next?

I've got a a few projects to finish off, and I need to finish them. 

I need to add at least one older face study as well. I need to do more studies in general, in fact, and I should start doing gesture drawing once more. 

And that is the extent of it all so far. ^_^

ProgressAva Jarvis