I have been drawing for a while now, but I was always a bit scared to get into painting. I knew that’s what I wanted to do, but the fear of failure and being overly critical with myself held me back. So I mostly kept to drawing and using simple color arrangements with line work. The occasional attempt at a more painterly style failed miserably and reinforced my fear of painting. But as I learned to be less critical of myself and more encouraging I realized that failures are as much a part of the process as successes if not more so. Failures are how we learn.
I guess I wasn’t really afraid of failing in itself or creating an ugly painting, but rather afraid how others would judge me. Or to be more accurate of how I imagined others would judge me and thus of how I would judge myself.
Once I became aware of this pattern I could let go of this fear by being kind to myself instead being so critical all the time. I mean if you would see your best friend struggling, you wouldn’t tell him he’s not good enough and a failure. So why do I talk like this to myself? This question helped me become my own best supporter. However it’s not like one sudden realization and everything is “fixed”. It’s an ongoing process, but it each time gets a little easier.
So after a while I finally got the encouragement to get into painting. And what better master to learn from than Leyendecker? I was quite happy with the rough sketch in the beginning, but as I got into the painting stage I quickly got lost. I added a rough underpainting, however I wasn’t happy with how it was going and kept searching for the right brush for hours only to get completely discouraged. As I got almost ready to quit I reminded myself to let go of my expectations and just give it an honest try.
I realized what I needed wasn’t the right brush but patience and trust into myself. I decided to only use a single basic brush, since the brush doesn’t really matter to be honest (Sinix did an excellent youtube video on that topic). And so I kept on painting and each time I felt stuck or frustrated I changed the negative voice in my head with an encouraging one.
In the end I have to say I am quite happy with how the painting turned out, but more importantly I learned to let go of my fear of painting, which opened a whole new world.