Two weeks ago I posted up a painting. This is one of a series of concept paintings that I have been doing for my game. The aim with all of these paintings has been to create a sort of 70’s album cover aesthetic. The sort of fantasy art that would have been printed on 12 inch vinyls.
While I could have tried to just straight up copy the style of someone like Roger Dean, that would never have felt like something that I would actually paint. Instead, I started shifting whatever my own style is in the general direction of 70’s fantasy art.
The last painting I did was fine. I like some elements of it. The figure has some good energy and the palette fits the era, but I just didn’t like the painting. That happens. I think I actually like about three paintings from the entire series. Sometimes I don’t even like those. I read recently that the reason artists don’t like their own art is because it looks like they made it. I can second that. Anything that looks like I made it, I’m usually not that interested in.
Just to be absolutely clear, I am not some self flagellating artist. I don’t have a perfectionist complex or think that nothing is ever good enough. I’m just not that interested in looking at stuff I made, because I remember making it. More than that, I know that I can always do more. It’s very easy to see the potential in a thing that I made because I typically have no fear of changing it. If I want to repaint a thing, I repaint it. No big deal. When I look at someone else's art I get to dissect it. I can imagine how it was made and reverse engineer the stroke choices, the techniques, the tricks. That is much more interesting to me.
Since that last painting wasn’t really doing it for me, I decided to try again. Usually I like to move on and paint something new since I will probably learn more from painting something new. This time I painted the same subject with a similar composition, but I attempted a bunch of the techniques I have been gathering from 70’s album art.
Maybe it’s successful, maybe it isn’t. That isn’t really for me to judge. I mean, I made it. I enjoyed making it. But I did make it, so I don’t really find it that interesting. Time to move on to the next one.