My Slowvember (WIP)

  • I’ve been super sick, so I am just now getting back to this. Here is somewhat of a color and texture test run. I love using watercolor scans to relay distance, and sometimes it gives a nice relationship to different shapes, but much of it is me just trying things in a chaotic way until something pops out at me. This still isn’t fully working imho, but I do like the lighting from some sort of object in the foreground. It somewhat sets the scene, so I most likely will go with that.


  • @eric-castleman Coming along nicely and interesting to see your process. Glad you're feeling better 🙂

  • SVS OG

    @eric-castleman It looks really nice, Eric! Love the light and reflections.

  • SVS OG

    @eric-castleman Really nice Eric!

  • So I gave up on my slowvember tonight. After weeks of work on it, and reworking in numerous times, even going as far as trashing about 30 hours of work and starting over, I just can’t get it to work. The design is bad, and I can’t rescue it. This is one of the big problems I have with my art. I worry that if I ever get a gig, I won’t be able to see the problems with an image until it is too late. Anywho. Tired of being frustrated and coming back to an image I just can’t work out. I need to start on something new to get my mojo back.

  • SVS OG

    @eric-castleman Or maybe you are just getting so much better that you notice every flaw imagineable. I don't think you should give up on it but turn it in. It's really nice, Eric! It's so discouraging sometimes when you can't get things perfect after hours of work! It's better than you think! Don't stop! Finish and then move on. Turn it in.

  • @eric-castleman but its almost done! All u need is one small something to focus on. Something hiding behind tree? Or just leave for another time, cause maybe in few weeks you will have a simple idea how to use it. Its a nice scene

  • SVS Team SVS OG

    I think you should stick with it. I really like it you really hit that cool feel with a touch of warmth, not many pull that off. Will Terry is great at it and I feel you also get that with your piece.

  • Keep going! It's lovely. I'm learning that feeling is part and parcel to being an artist. Sometimes we have to walk away from a piece, but come back with fresh eyes.

  • @eric-castleman I know the feeling Eric. I'm considering trashing mine as well. As for your piece, I think the design is good. Love the bunnies! I'm wondering if you just crop the image. Try cropping out the dark tree on the right hand side, making the bunnies more prominent and what they are looking at. Hope this helps 🙂

  • @Marsha-Kay-Ottum-Owen @aska @Chip-Valecek @Elaine-B @Laurel-Aylesworth

    Thank you all for the encouragement. I’ll finish it for you all 😉 I might change it up a bit though

  • @eric-castleman Please do finish it - some of us are watching and love what you have so far, even if we haven't had anything useful to contribute. What Marsha and Laurel said - maybe you just need some time away from it. Don't worry about Slowvember, but please do finish it!

  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    Eric, you are doing great! Let's get something you are happy with. I will work with you on this. I'll get back to you tomorrow with some suggestions...

  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    Some of you guys who are talking about trashing your images are running into the problem with REALLY finishing an image. That is where the difficulty of this project lies! What I tell my students is that it "gives you enough rope to hang yourself with!".

    When doing a quick sketch, it's easy because it doesn't have to be good. But slowing down takes effort. You have to really know your tendencies and what you are going for in a piece. It will show you how good are at the moment. Some problems people run into: That hand that you always indicate in a quick sketch now needs to actually be figured out! Those values really need to work! What is the real level of finish you want to go to.

    Fear not! Your feelings are normal. My big suggestion is to have a couple of pieces going at the same time. That way you don't hyper focus. Make sure you understand what you really want out of the piece and that will continue to drive the image.

    In Eric's case, It seems there wasn't actually a concept which might be the culprit of not knowing where to go with it. Since there isn't an overall goal for the image, it's not telling you what it wants. We can fix that though!

    As Mel Milton says, keep on keeping' on! : )

  • Thanks for all the encouragement everyone!! I really do appreciate it. A year and a half ago when I signed up for SVS I had no clue about that I was such a emotional weirdo when it comes to my art. Not until I started taking it seriously did I start to go through so many ups and downs.

    With that said here is the basic concept for the piece now. It may seem like it is on a similar track as before, but what I had done to it since showing everyone last was add in some elf luke characters that just didn’t look right, and the mountains and clouds just weren’t working. No matter how many times I reworked them, it just seemed off. So after starting back up a couple nights ago, and with the idea in my head to dedicate this to the SVS forums, I thought the rabbit theme was a good idea which somewhat represent the mascot of SVS, and I wanted it to reflect some sort of colloboration from a team, and those looking on to see if what I was working on could be finished. So, this is just the monochrome value, and the color is what I am starting on right now.


  • Here is a very rough idea of where I am going with this. Any changes anyone can throw out there Would be appreciated.


  • A bit more detail


  • @eric-castleman cool idea 🙂 rabbits are very playfull

  • SVS OG

    I really like this Eric and your changes make it read so much better. In the early paintings, I had to look for the rabbits that people were talking about but now with the lighting and the tracks, the one rabbit stands out as the focal point and your design leads my eye to look for the other rabbits which makes it so fun. It's really nice.

    And on the subject of frustration, probably the most freeing thing I heard from the SVS teachers is their comments that they go through really ugly stages in their process when they start to say to themselves, "I can't draw." If even they go through that, it makes me think that it just comes with the territory and I've gotten better at telling my brain to shut up and let me persist. I also play classical mandolin and read of a famous violin teacher who said, "There's no such thing as a difficult piece. There are only time consuming pieces." I'm only an amateur but learning to ignore my frustration and accept that some paintings will just take me longer (sometimes A LOT longer) to figure out has really helped me improve.

  • @eric-castleman Nice to see you are back on track. I like what you have done with the foreground, pushes the eye into the painting! Now your rabbits are coming to life. Also great to read the inspiring words from Lee White.

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