Do you ever experience burn out? I certainly do. When working hard on a particular skill or subject (in this case landscapes) I find that I keep working going until I just find it too frustrating to go on. I stop making progress, if anything things get worse. At this point I let it go and do something relaxing, something that reminds me why I enjoy art in the first place.
So late at night after countless failed landscapes I sat and drew my son’s bugle. It is an old and battered thing passed down from his grandpa. I haven’t done this type of observational drawing for a few days and was surprised by how good it felt good to do. One of those sketches where you just lose yourself and I was surprised by how confident my pen lines felt this time around. Maybe just a contrast with the struggle of painting?
Another relaxing type of drawing I love doing is drawing from reference photos, particularly those great pictures you find on instagram. This was based on a beautiful shot in London. Again, pure relaxation, and I loved painting it in afterwards.
Finally after all of this I felt at peace again and wanted to try landscapes.
Again this is based on a reference photo and I felt like I made such a lot of progress on this one, but the best thing of all was that it was fun. I’m delighted to have a process that can work me through a funk or burn out.
When in doubt go back to basics and find what relaxes you. Just have fun.