Mistakes are conspicuous to me now when I look at this vintage colored pencil drawing even though I am pleased with the subject and the composition.
Thankfully my mother had this drawing in her collection. I was surprised to see it; another drawing I had forgotten all about. It is good to look back at your old work. I can see all the errors clearly. By listing them all here, maybe I can help someone else to avoid or pay attention to these missteps.
Drawing Mistakes You Can Avoid:
- No date.
Always date your drawings on the front or the back at least. Better still, keep records! This drawing is an extremely vague memory; I know it is older than the kitten drawing, the pears on shirt drawing, and the fat robins drawing. But since these also have the date omitted, that only helps a little. I am going to guess 1989 or 1990. Of all the commissioned drawings I no longer have and the ones I gave to friends and family, I have to count on my memory.
- Thin and poor quality paper.
I don’t know what kind of paper it is, but it feels like newsprint. Ugh. Invest in good paper for your drawings. After you spend 20 or more hours creating a work of art, you don’t want to watch it disintegrate over the years. Colored pencil also requires something that can stand erasures and corrections; at least a 20lb weight paper.
- Damage from improper storage.
Never crease or roll your drawings; the paper will either curl forever or become damaged in another way.
- Missing dark values.
This is a recurring problem in all my vintage drawings. This time I added the darker values directly to the original. I spent an additional three hours on this at least. The size of the piece is much larger than the portion I was able to scan. Since colored pencil is done in layers, after six or seven layers, it used to be hard for me to notice that my value scale was off.
If you are just beginning to draw, you might be timid about adding the darkest darks. Don’t be shy. Add the darkest values last, if it turns out badly, lift the value you added with art mask frisk film or a kneaded eraser.
- Reference photos are not original.
This piece was inspired from a library book on flowers. Another mistake.
Take your own pictures. It used to be a job to have a camera, take pictures, get them developed, but now it is easy. There will be no confusion about copyright issues.
An even better idea is to draw from life. The fruit on shirts drawing is an example of this. I took reference photos, but I drew it as a still life until the pears rotted and all I had left were the photos.