I come now to the next part of creating a piece of artwork – what I call the “In-Between” part. This is the hardest part. Before you start and at the very beginning are easy, you have tons of enthusiasm and energy, you can take on the world. But when you get toward the middle of a piece of work it is really tough, you have to keep going, you have to find the energy and stamina to continue. All kinds of doubts beset you. Why am I doing this? Will anybody like it? Can I draw at all? The composition is all wrong! Look I made a little mistake and now it’s ruined! This is the hard part, worse than having a white sheet of paper in front of you with no marks on.
It is best to keep up momentum, break if you must, take a week off from it – but always come back. You must sweat and worry and toil – it is how anything gets created! Once you get past the difficult stage you are on the homeward stretch, can start seeing how the final piece will look, you get excited again. You will be proud of this one, there is good and bad but overall you like how it has come out. From here on in it is plain sailing. I find myself at these times drawing almost without thinking. I look down and my hands are drawing all by themselves. I am just an observer, thinking “Hey, that’s good! How does he do that?”
Key things to remember – dont overdo it, keep making sure you have a good balance between light and dark, remember that both are OK. Dont over correct, it will show and ruin the picture. Keep everything clean – hands, work surfaces, eraser, cover drawings when not being worked on (my cat likes to sit on my pictures, he doesn’t always have the cleanest paws). Make sure your pens are clean and the nibs are not too clogged. Keep your ink away from the drawing area! Rotring ink once spilled is permanent. I once spilled Rotring ink on the concrete outside my friends house and she had to put down decking to hide it! It would not clean off. You have been warned!