‎On the 20th ‎April ‎2017 i created my first ever piece of digital art using my brand new Wacom Intuos tablet and stylus ( im still using the same tablet ! ) and using Adobe Photoshop as my digital canvas. I had no idea about how to paint in ANY medium, i had no idea about art fundamentals, all i could do pretty well was semi-accurately (perspective was always off) copy things from observation using pen or pencil, these line drawings were usually super detailed and intricate, this is a very common way of hiding the fact i didnt know anything about fundamentals so i hid that fact behind a flood of unnecessary details.

“Sandwich Village 2017”

I remember being chuffed to bits with this! now looking at it i can see a million things wrong with it. Its in no-way anywhere near the realistic atmospheric look i wanted to be creating, But i was a complete novice at the time so i will let myself off the hook.

Something i remember being able to do pretty well as a kid since infant school was draw things from observation with detail. I remember always being known as the kid that could draw things. I remember teachers saying that im “talented in the arts” and have a gift for drawing etc.

Stepping into the world of professional art i can now see that just having a talent for drawing what you observe is absolutely worthless when it comes to creating an image from imagination that follows all the fundamental rules of imagery.

From the 20th of april 2017 until now, i have near enough worked on my art every single day. I have practiced new techniques, watched hours of tutorials, learnt the boring fundamentals, read many books, failed over and over again relentlessly and wanted to give up several times. Its been a frustrating but worthwhile journey which is FAR from over. I still have a long way to go before i reach the level of the pro’s i idolise in the current industry. Maybe some of my recent paintings look professional enough but the point is that it takes me a huge amount of time and effort to produce these paintings from start to finish, a top artist in the industry can produce the work in a quarter of the time and know exactly what steps to take.

Which leads me to the argument of talent vs skill.

Theres alot of people out there that dismiss peoples hard work in the creative industry due to the “talent” argument.

“he or she has always been able to draw and paint” “its easy for them” “they have a gift” etc

Utter nonsense !!

Yes, some people are born with a natural ability and gravitise towards the creative things in life and even have a natural ability to perform certain tasks but i would say that accounts for maybe 5% of an individuals overall skillset.

The truth is that pretty much all of it is learnt skill, trial and error, failing over and over and many years of dedication to your craft.

Woodland Environment 2017 (above) vs 2020 (below)

Im not wanting to be praised for my hardwork or anything, people work super hard at their non-creative jobs or whatever it is they might do for a living. im just saying dont dismiss someones hard worked skill as just “talent”

Here are some more digital paintings i created in 2017 that i now cringe over but at the time was really happy with ! funny how it goes isn’t it ! The thing about art is that some people might think that my old art from 2017 is better than my most recent work, its completely down to personal taste.

Right, time to go practice my perspective and figure drawing!