I seem to have a very strong desire to "perfect" this image. It is my fourth attempt at working on the idea.
For most of my adult life I've painted realistically. I always said I couldn't draw from my imagination if my life depended on it. If it wasn't set up in front of me to view, I couldn't get it on paper. When people wanted me on their Pictionary team I warned them that my drawing skills would be no better than anyone else's. And I was correct.
But I've always wanted to illustrate children's books and knew that unless I worked on the skill of drawing from my imagination, I would never be able to come close to making that a reality.
In 2011 my step-daughter Ashley (my personal cheerleader) bought me a sketch-a-day book for Christmas. That little book started to change everything for me. On March 4 2012 I drew this image in that sketchbook for the Illustration Friday word of the week - INTENTION: (Well, at least she had good intentions)
I was pretty proud of it at the time and thought "Hey! Now I can be of benefit to a Pictionary team!
Almost exactly a year later I felt that I had improved my skills and could do a much better version. I did this one for the Illustration Friday word of the week - PROTEST (the fish was definitely protesting).
And in 2015 I felt like an absolute expert and decided I could do so much better. Here's that one:
So there you have it. The top image is where I am after 5 years of drawing while relying heavily on my imagination. I certainly use reference material in my process, but to be able to have done the top image 5 years ago I would have needed a little girl model, a happy dog, a curious cat (one that would allow me to put clothes on it and then pose nicely), and a fish that I would have had to put through way too much trama.
Have we all seen the last attempt of this image?