Friday, June 15, 2018

I Should Have Bailed Out

6/11/18 Maple Leaf neighborhood

It had interesting shadows under the eaves and an asymmetrical porch with both an archway and a small window shaped like a miter – all of which caught my eye. (What architectural style could this possibly be?) But I was doomed by the cluttered composition: Two cars, one on each side of the street, partially blocked my view. And although I have a thing for utility poles and lines, they weren’t doing much for this composition, and I should have left them out. On top of all that, I was a bit troubled by the house’s dark gray color. I told myself all of this before I began, and yet I proceeded.

I had recently read Marc Holmes say, “the sooner you can sense the need to bail-out, the better. Save your energy for the re-do!” I’ve even heard myself give that advice to others: As soon as you know it’s going badly, it’s easier to just stop and start over. The hard part is listening to my own sage advice.

On the other hand, I can think of a million worse ways to spend my time than making a sorry sketch on a sunny June afternoon.


  1. Good advice. For me the trick is to be able to identify whether it's going badly before its going badly. Mostly I do this by ignoring the common internet advice of "just go for it" and "use pen only or you'll die" Instead, I'll start any complex composition with a pencil, drawing boxes and blobs that establish the composition and let me envision it on paper. Then I can start drawing inside those boxes and blobs knowing that it will go well, or at least as well as it does with me holding the pen (grin).

    1. A sound strategy, Larry! I thought I was following the same one, but hindsight is always 20-20. ;-)

      - Tina


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