When I was a kid, the original Vans store was a bike ride away. and it was where we all got our shoes. Heck, some friends of mine even worked there. Plus, for a few extra dollars you could bring in a hunk of your favorite canvas fabric and Vans would turn it into a spiffy new pair of their comfy slip-ons.
Though I’ve been away a long time, the California surfer culture is soaked into my bones and it’s no surprise that the other day, while wasting a few minutes online, I got to thinking about those custom Vans and found myself exploring their website.Read more →
Mistakes. Sometimes you can cover them up. And other times things go so terribly wrong that all you can really do is cry, shake your first at the heavens, or just give up.
But sometimes it’s even more fun to wade into them and make a real good mess.
Case in point:
I was all set for a few days away at the ocean. I had prepared my paper, drawn my sketch, and packed everything I was going to need to start on a colored pencil painting of dogwood flowers. And the piece started out fine, until I decide to add a few water droplets. Can’t be difficult, right?
The first droplets were way too dark. I tried to erase them. The second batch was too dark and the wrong color.
“Maybe a few more would make them all look okay,” I thought. So I added more. Bad mistake. Soon the hapless dogwoods were starting to look shot-through by a BB gun.
I said a bad word.
I spent a few minutes feeling sorry for myself, My vacation project was toast. And then I realized I had a great opportunity to learn from this colossal snafu. I decided to get this water drop thing down. So I dove in to the water droplets. I looked at them online, I practiced drawing dozens of them. Then I added even more droplets to the dogwoods. “Take this! And this! And this!”
It was mistake mayhem. It was fun.
In the end, I finally managed to perfect a couple of really good droplets. I had a great time, and each one I created gave me a little more info for creating the next one.
I’m back from my trip now, and still kind of tender when it comes to making water droplets. But I’ll be revisiting those dogwoods again pretty soon, armed with a handful of Warm Greys, a diploma from the Colored Pencil School of Hard Knocks, and a whole lotta fight.
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