This is from a series that I started 2 years ago.
The first image is probably one of the first things I tried painting with watercolors ever. I’d always drawn with pencil or painted with oils or acrylics up until then. It didn’t go well. I almost immediately re-did it, which is the second image.
A couple of months later I re-did it again, choosing the first concept, which is the third image. Already I think that was an improvement, but the anatomy is all wrong and there’s almost no contrast and definition. Back then I hardly did any “deliberate practice,” but just tried to jump straight into complete pieces (no anatomy, color studies, etc.)
I’ve wanted to come back to these and do them for real, but haven’t gotten around to it until now. I was astounded when I pulled them out, not realizing how much I’ve actually improved (feels like such slow-going when you’re in it every day!)
I redid one today, which is the last image. I hope you can see some serious improvements with color, composition, definition (granted I use pen now, which certainly helps there), more appropriate thickness of paint, and… lots of other things. This much improvement only came from working nearly daily for two years.
Of course I am partly embarrassed to put these up in public, especially with my name attached, but I really want people to see that it isn’t “wow you are talented,” but a “wow you’ve been working really hard consistently for years”. I think sharing this kind of thing is important for both me and the people kind enough to care about my process :)
I wonder if 2 years from now I’ll look back on the piece I did today with similar eyes.