Thursday, March 17, 2016

How An Onion (and some friends) Helped Me Be Brave

More often than not, I find that I am my own worst enemy.

Especially when it comes to creativity.

That "monkey" voice, as Danny Gregory refers to it, or the "I.C." (for inner critic) as Roz Stendahl refers to it, shows up when I least expect it.

The other day a sketching colleague posted a lovely watercolor of a purple onion on our Facebook group page.  I remarked how real it looked.  How much it looked like an onion I had.

And then I said, "I could never do that."

Dang!  That voice!!  That critical monkey voice!   The greatest enemy to all scribbling!!

Happily, members of the group encouraged me.  And one even dared me to paint an onion.

A dare!

Of course, I had to paint an onion.

This is one of my very few watercolor with no ink lines paintings.  I haven't felt ready to try such work until recently.

I should clarify that while the dare certainly helped, I actually do have a personal policy:  whenever I hear that internal voice say "you can't do that," I do it.  As soon as possible.  In this case, though, I hadn't even heard that voice creeping in when I made my comment on Facebook.  So I was glad for the friends who helped me hear it and not let it win!

I accomplished this onion portrait with only three colors and a lot of layers with drying time in between.  I focused on shape and color and value (to capture volume and shadow).  It was a challenge and lot of fun.

So there, you monkey critic voice of dismay and evil. I can too paint on onion!

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