Okay so a bit of an update regarding OA. I'm 5 weeks in thus far, and barring this week's homework I've not actually drawn *anything* yet. An odd thing, for a painting online course. I've drawn *over* a few things, and decided on my Audacious Accomplishment for the course overall (almost). My thoughts this far:
This isn't the kind of course that will teach you what brushes to use, what techniques will make you a better technical artist - if you're after something that will teach you how to paint digitally or traditionally in some fashion, there are more apt courses out there for sure. What this course has given me so far is an excuse to actually step back and think properly on what I want to do.
The Art Order has recently posted a great set of self assessing questions about your portfolio that tackle the similar kind of issues that have cropped up in this course so far (click here for link). But Chris has a very unique way of looking at art that I think is very healthy. This course isn't about finding your style. It's about giving you the building blocks so that you should be able to work in *any* style, on any kind of subject with any kind of story. This allows you to put your own style aside and just focus on the story.. about what's important in a painting or illustration. I really, really love this style of approach. It makes you question why you do what you do. Am I just doing this style of work because I'm too afraid to really jump into something better? I work a lot with very 'pretty' subject matter. My work is always on the lighter side, barring a couple of pieces. I love working with soft feminine subject matter, but I have a yearning to do something darker.
I love Brom's work. I love his innate sense of elegance even when he's drawing the most messed up creature you can think of. It's not the kind of unwatchable dark art that some horror artists delve into that becomes uncomfortable. I love the contrast he can get with this style, blending beautiful women and strong, handsome men with unusual designs and gothic horror. I'd love to get that style of approach in my own work, but I suspect my work by the nature of me, will be a little softer, maybe a little sexier than Brom's, with a few more tentacles. I'm almost imagining Brom's aesthetics with a Rebecca Guay/Mucha twist. The idea of that being who I am to the art world is hugely intriguing.
THIS is what this course is giving me. Focus. A goal. I've always loved dipping my toes in any number of styles and stories. I love fantasy and modern day stuff almost equally, and working on Transformers is giving me a real sense of how awesome sci fi robot design can be. But this course is also making me realise that I'm sort of diluting myself by doing so much of this kind of stuff. It's really beginning to burn that wide warm arcing sunbeam into a firey laser. And putting me alongside others who want the same thing, but are coming at it from a totally different point of view. All of which is super healthy for any artist. Add to that the fact we get a crit session with Chris every month where we get to sit and watch him crit a bunch of work from every level of skill. I've had one session thus far and it's definitely got me thinking already.
All in all, there are a myriad of courses out there, but I'm being more and more pleasantly surprised by this course the more I put into it. I always thought it would be good, but there's a tonne of new angles on art that it's giving me. Roll on the coming weeks!
Aaand just so you have a visual reward for reading all that, here's some doodles and a character rough that I'll probably go rethink in the long run.