Finished not Perfect, my thoughts



  • So, i picked up a piece i started back in April, i'd stopped for many reasons, but 'depression' was a major factor. I recently decided to finish it, under @Jake-Parker 's "Finished not perfect" concept. I've recently finished it, and although there are bits to it i like/am proud of, on the grand scale i am just not happy with it.

    But i've come to realise that i need to understand colour a LOT more (And as soon as i've saved up enough money to enroll in a Years Subcription to SVS it will be one of the first classes i take).

    Although i am not happy with it, i am glad i finished it. It's no longer going to hang over me and I also have met my own limitations, and have planned how to get better to overcome those Limitations! Having finished that piece i can move forward and i feel better for it!

    Has anyone else had a simlar expriance?


  • Pro

    @nizhoniwolf Can we see it? The curiosity is killing me!



  • Firstly, well done for finishing it even if you found it a big struggle, at least now you can recognise what you like and don't like about the finished piece and you can apply that to your next illustration πŸ™‚
    I'm still working on using colour too, i don't think it's something that comes naturally, it always takes a bit of work. When I was a traditional artist I found my colours were quite dull and murky, so I changed to digital. At first I was having the same problem as I always felt like i needed to have the same effect as paints, but now I'm learning that illustrating digitally gives you a lot more freedom to experiment.
    I still struggle with painting too dark and I tend to stay away from bold colours, but reading everyone's suggestions and thoughts on this forum has really helped me to understand using colour better. So now I'm making a big effort to just go for it and see how it turns out!
    I haven't watched any of the SVS classes as I can't afford the subscription at the moment, but I always find it beneficial looking at other illustrators use of colours and trying to copy that into my own work. At the moment I'm obsessed with Jim Field's illustrations in Grandpa Christmas and I'm trying to apply that to my own stuff.
    I don't know if you're traditional or digital, but i'm also curious like @NessIllustration so would love to see some of your work πŸ˜ƒ


  • Moderator

    Congratulations on finishing your piece! I have definitely had similar experiences. To be honest I find the process of learning illustration to be very stressful and anxiety inducing. It can be pretty overwhelming because there is so much to learn and so many skills to hone. It sounds like you have a great approach to dealing with it! More recently I have learned that the only way to progress is to accept that this is the nature of the beast. It seems to take a lot of failures to have minor successes. Now I try my best to learn everything I can about my failures and really celebrate the little successes.

    Learning how to finish a piece is probably one of the most important though! I did not really start learning effectively until I learned to persevere and just finish a piece that was not going well. If you stay the course and push through to the finish, it’s almost impossible not to progress.



  • Honestly same, especially since I can only work in traditional, I'll notice things that are impossible to correct. I just figure that when my art is bad because a lack of fundamentals, (which I am starting to see more and more as I learn), that It Really Be Like That Sometimes and that its necessary to do to grow as an artist. As long as you can see what can be improved then nothing was lost. I got into using color because I was playing around with watercolor, and even then it took me a while to really work with it.

    To me, I think having to work on fundamentals is somewhat better than having to work on having an interest in continuing art or having ideas for art. Because if we didn't have an interest, we wouldn't be so worried about skills or improving, so its just a fight of worrying against critical analysis with practice. So at least we have that going for us :^)



  • Ahhh... Yup.
    The main thing I learned going to a weekly painting group is to push through to finish. A few hours later you sometimes have a much better piece than you thought and always learned something.
    Finish is a win!
    Also, if you've never failed at a piece you aren't pushing your limits or are not looking with a critical eye and learning.



  • Finishing a piece is definitely sometimes a major challenge. But it's good that you pushed through and despite what the end result is, (whether happy with it or not). This in essence is what I feel "finished, not perfect" is all about, which is seeing the process to completion. As far as color, what has helped me is studying a bit into color theory. Understanding concepts like warm/cool colors, and also complementary colors with the type of emotions they tend to evoke might be a good way to start. Also just overall playing with colors, doing color wheels, swatches, and mix and matching are factors that has helped me on deciding colors to use.


  • SVS OG

    I just finished illustrations...well....they've been finished for quite a while but had to take photos because they were too big to scan and my son cleaned them up for me and just sent me the file today. I learned A LOT in doing this project but it is definitely NOT perfect. I'm a little embarrssed by it but that means I've been growing (I hope) as an illustrator. I feel less horrible about my weaknesses in art than I used to. I think completed projects are the best way to learn. You have so many puzzles to solve, have to learn to take critiques well and make changes that seem overwhelmingly hard to do sometimes. I have completed three picture book projects so far. None are great but they aren't all bad either I guess. I'm working on number 4 now and am almost done with comps. I'm still a traditional artist. Haven't mastered much digitally at all. Good for you for finishing your project! Now on to the next one! Right?


Log in to reply