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Mushrooms. Lots of mushrooms. A sketchbook page full of simple line drawings of mushrooms drawn from memory and/or imagination, some brightly coloured with Ecoline watercolour ink.
This page was a lot of fun to draw. I wasn’t aiming for realism or detail. It was all about drawing simple, stylised, imaginary mushrooms. I planned to add colour to bring volume to the drawings.
As I used imagination to draw these whimsically wonky mushrooms, it was easier to give myself permission to forgo the pressures I put on myself to be realistic in adding colour. I could use whatever colours I wanted to for each mushroom, I could be as stylised as I wished about the colour too.
Adding colour in this way is easy when I add colour to my coloring book pages/templates. As these pages are stylised, I can add colour in a simpler, more fun way. This is especially true for my Doodleworlds style of art.
Transferring that mindset to my drawings from nature, architecture and so on isn’t quite so easy for me. I still hear that critical voice of ‘It’s not good art if it doesn’t look like photograph or like the real thing’ in my head. This is a message that is repeated to us time and time again from our earliest days of starting to draw. It was these critical messages that led to me having a belief that I was no good at art, and those messages were seared deeply into my view of myself.
In fairness to myself, I have overcome some of these critical beliefs foisted upon me by others. However, some linger and rise up from time to time. I suspect their influence is most noticed in my lack of confidence in myself when it comes to colour.
Identifying these ‘inner critics’ is the first step to dispelling them. This is a multi-step process as the inner critic is armed with many weapons to destroy my self-confidence. I’ve disarmed this critic time and time again, but it always seems to find a new weapon. Eventually though, it will run out of weapons to use.
It’s a process, a long winded process, but it’s one that’s worth doing, step by step.