Before the 10,000 hours cliché, one of my college painting instructors taught us that we have 50 bad paintings in us that we must expunge before we can get a good one.
I think the statute of limitations on that runs out after about 10 years or so and you have to start over. I think also that it’s 50 per medium or style. Say you make 15 landscapes and 10 portraits; you’re not half way there. Just over a third.
I recalled that lesson last Thursday during open studio. I realized I’ve gotten about halfway to 50 with portraits on the iPad - and I can sense that I’m starting to turn the corner and reclaim the skills that I let atrophy.
This time around I focused on value and shape. I didn’t do a detailed sketch first. I just built up shapes and values. I started by building a palette of 8 skin tones. I took advantage of blending layers to bring in subtle reflected colors and reds. Better. It’s a solid C+.