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It surely helped moving onto the skin and the hands on this painting. This portrait is breaking every mental framework I thought I had. I typically struggle with hands, and his hands look really great right now. I am usually great at clothing but, getting it to look like the quality I wanted it to look took an obscene amount of time in relation to everything else. This struggle and level of unexpectedness in the process lead me to a frustration about the creative world.

There is another myth that floats around in the creative world that once you reach some fantastical creative echelon, you are somehow free of struggle, that the “creative tap” will just keep on running after a certain point. There will always be struggle in the creative process. Any art or design splits into two major things: 1) the idea and 2) the craft. You might have the creative tap flowing, but you may not have the right skill set to execute the idea, or you may have all the skill set, but have never been afforded the opportunity to explore your ideas. Despite books I have read and conversations I have listened to, one needs the other in order to progress. In this case, my skill level is being tested a lot. I haven’t been practicing this for several months. I am having to come to terms with the idea that the struggle will always be there. There will always be that critic in my that makes me pace in front of my easel for several minutes to hours before I actually sit down.

I am still nervous about how this will finish out as I am moving onto his face…

…a work in progress…