Practice Makes Progress
We've all heard of that well known phrase "Practice makes perfect" but as we all know, nothing is truly perfect. I decided to take on pet "Pawtraits" as something to fill the void during my time being furloughed. At first I decided it was just a bit of fun, some practice at something which I enjoy and a reason to treat myself to the new paint palette I have been eyeing up. But it became so much more than that. I started posting my paintings online and quite quickly got requests from people to paint their pets. I was amazed, I never thought people would actually want to invest in something I have created, I have painted, and for birthdays no less! I thought the pressure is truly on and had a go at a couple more paintings.
Now I am not going to sit here and say I am not proud of the first version of this painting, at the time I was, very much so! My mum had asked if I would like to practice on a picture of her friends dog and she would be able to give it to her for her birthday (see above, the beautiful Pippa). Of course, I said and to be honest I was very happy with how it turned out. (See the original below). It was off the back of this and 2 other paintings that people decided they would like one of their own, so it must have been good.
23 Pawtraits on and with my mum not able to see her friend yet for her birthday, I decided I was going to give it another go. To see if I could do it any better, to see how much I have improved. As they say, "practice makes perfect". At this point I have done dogs, cats, a fish and even a lizard, my experience with my paints alone has helped me understand what layers with what and what colours mix to make believable and realistic animal shades.
I wasn't expecting to go from amateur to Van Gogh but I am amazed at how far I have come. The original painting was done on 20th April 2020, just over 2 months ago. As I said, I know the new version is not "perfect" but it really does prove that with time (and a short amount of time at that) you can really up your game.
The main thing I have taken away from this is look how far I could go if I don't give up on something and I want that to be the message for this post. Don't give up on something if after the first few times its not as good as you want it to be. Keep going and make sure you take time to reflect on your old work or what you didn't use to be able to do but now can. Its not about who you are better than or how good you should be, its about progressing yourself and going on that journey. I have found this exercise very helpful in boosting my confidence and maybe in a years time I will give Pippa another go. I'm the first person to admit that I am not good at maintaining something if I am unhappy with my results first time but I truly can't wait to see how far I can go in my pet pawtrait adventure!
Thank you for reading,
Practice makes progress!