5 Tips for When an Art Piece is Not Going Right

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As artists, illustrators, and designers, we've all been there. We're in the middle of the creation process when you take a step back expecting to love it, but you don't. It either looks weird or unbalanced or maybe you don't even know why you don't like it. Don't panic, here are five tips that I use to help!

TIP #1 - LEAVE IT FOR A FEW DAYS! This is something I always do. I will leave a piece of artwork for a few days to let the frustration subside and then come back to it with fresh eyes. The majority of the time I do this I can instantly pinpoint why I don't like it and can start working on it to "fix" it!

TIP #2 - CRITIQUE FROM FRIENDS! You've been sat wondering why you don't like this piece but you just can't put your finger on why that is. Show it to your friends or post it on social media asking for people to critique it. This is a great way to get multiple ideas on how to move forward with the piece.

TIP #3 - INSPIRE YOURSELF! Hop onto Instagram or Pinterest or even you favourite artist's website! Looking through work you love and admire helps you to realise what you like and how you can implement it more! Don't compare yourself to other artists though, doing so will only frustrate you more, you just want some fresh inspiration and ideas!

TIP #4 - START AGAIN! Sometimes it feels like a piece is too far gone so starting over again is a good option. Sometimes when I dislike one of my paintings I will just paint over it and end up liking it so much more!

TIP #5 - MOVE ON! There are times when a piece is just not working and it has frustrated you to a point where you just can't bear to continue with it. That's okay! We're all doing this because we love to be creative so don't force something if it doesn't feel right. Move on to something else!

These are just a few of the tips that I utilise in my own art practice and find useful. I hope that they can help you too! Do you have any tips to add? What do you do when you're struggling on a piece?

Artist Crush : Katie Jobling

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I have a new artist crush! Well when I say new, I mean I've been following her art journey for the last couple of months now but she is right up there on my Top 3 favourite artists right now! Her name is Katie Jobling and she is a full-time artist based in the UK. She takes inspiration from every day life and focuses on painting in Oil, Acrylic, & Watercolour.

I am absolutely smitten with the collection of work she is creating currently! Dreamy pinks and expressive paint strokes are everything to me right now. I mentioned in my last post that I am in a full love affair with the colour pink and as I'm experimenting with abstract shapes and forms, I find myself drawn to Katie Jobling's work and just being lost in the gentle warmth of it!

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Katie Jobling also has an extensive collection of floral paintings too! The loose impressionist marks look so gorgeous and I adore the way she utilises colour, so much so that I have started experimenting with my own abstract floral paintings! Painting like this is so calming, it's almost meditative. Trying to capture the essence of plants in paint form really is such a joyful experience, and I would recommend everyone to at least try it just to see what it is like.

If you like what you see then I encourage you to check out her blog, instagram & shop! She also has the most amazing YouTube channel, full of tutorials, speed paintings and more!

Elbow Deep in Magenta Paint

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Guys, I have a confession to make.. I'm obsessed with pink at the moment. This may not seem all that important but for someone like me who has a strongly defined witchy aesthetic overflowing with dark tones, this is a bit unexpected! I have always had a strange relationship with the colour pink, I've had stages of loving it, rejecting it, and reclaiming it. This time it feels like it has ebbed back into my mind, perhaps because I'm all loved up with my husband in our first little home and Valentine's day is just around the corner? Regardless as to why it has made a return for me, it is firmly here and I am relishing in every delicious and delightful tone!

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Be it baby pink, magenta or peach, I am besotted with them all! So of course that means they are firmly the focus of my recent paintings. I've been experimenting with devotional paintings for particular deities as part of my spiritual practice, I'll cover this topic in another post, but I've been devoting and dedicating my latest paintings to the Greek goddess of love, beauty & passion, Aphrodite. Trying to capture her essence in my abstract and expressionist paintings have brought me nothing but joy! I burn some honey & rose incense, listen to some songs by Marina and The Diamonds or some cute love songs, then just paint away! When I think of Aphrodite I reach straight for my various pinks, then I always finish it off with some iridescent white and gold. I think it really captures the feelings of being gentle, loving and beautiful, I also try to keep the movements flowing as if they were about to burst right off the paper.

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Here's a progress shot of my latest painting, I was about half-way done here but thought it was truly a serendipitous moment when I noticed that my painting, with no prior-planning, had started to take on the appearance of an abstract vulva or rose! Unconsciously my strokes had combined in such a way that was effortlessly symbolic for Aphrodite! Once the painting was crowned with it's gold and iridescent accents the piece took on such a peaceful feeling and I was just so pleased with it! Here's a close up on how the gold and pinks mingle on the paper. Keep an eye out for a full view of the finished piece on my instagram!

The paints I used were Liquitex Professional Heavy Body Acrylic in Medium Magents, Light Portrait Pink, and Iridescent White. I also used Daler Rowney System 3 Heavy Body Acrylic in Titanium White, and Reeves Acrylic in Gold.

What colours are you currently obsessed with? Do you think there is a reason why you like them so much? I'd love to hear about it!

We Stand With You : #ARTISTSFORLOVE

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There are a LOT of people who are hurting and are scared due to recent events and it breaks my heart when I see that devastation on my friend's faces or hear it in their trembling voices. What's going on terrifies me and everyone's collective panic is palpable. It is in these moments that I feel I have to reach out to others who feel the same, just for the sheer relief that we will not be walking this path alone.

While scrolling through my Instagram I came across a post by @pixielighthorse, it was a message of comfort and solidarity, a project where us artists join together and do what we do best. Create and spread a message. Pixie explains it better than I ever could in her blog post here, but the gist is that we create a piece of artwork with this message and share it everywhere we can. We post it to our social media accounts and we can print out our work as posters to display in places where people can see it.

Above you will see my contribution to the #artistsforlove movement. It is available as a free download here so you may spread it too, though I hope you also create your own artwork too!

"This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no place for despair, no time for self-pity, not need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. This is how civilisations heal." - Toni Morrison

Dipping My Toe into the World of Digital Art

So I was very grateful to receive money from my family for my birthday this year, with this money and my savings I was able to finally purchase an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil! I've wanted to get these since I first saw them released and did some research to see how well it works for creating artwork. After checking out all the information I could find, I came to the conclusion that this would be a cheaper and more versatile option for me over the Wacom Cintiq, a drawing tablet that I've been lusting over for as long as I knew about Wacom as a company! I'm now three months into my iPad Pro art journey and I don't think I will go back to my old graphics tablet to draw ever again! My two favourite art apps are Procreate, an amazing art app that's incredibly versatile; and AstroPad, an app that turns the iPad into a graphics tablet so you can use it with your computer programs like Adobe Photoshop! Drawing in Procreate is so fluid and feels so natural that it makes Photoshop feel clunky to me! Although it costs about £4.49 to purchase, I have never regretted doing so as this app has helped me so much to develop as an artist and illustrator.

So do you fancy seeing some of the pieces I've made with my new tools? You've probably already seen them if you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, but I'm actually very proud of how these have come out, so I hope you like them!

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Be sure to use the coupon code "MYFAIRPIXELBLOG" to get 15% OFF in my Etsy shop!

I've also uploaded the sketching and painting process of "SEER" to my YouTube channel so be sure to watch that too!

I hope you like the work I'm creating now! I feel like I can be more experimental now so I'm having a lot of fun with it!