No Mistakes

Yesterday I drew a picture of Akon using charcoal.

I’m actually not totally in love with it, but I feel I learned a some from the process so I’m sharing it anyway.

I like charcoal because I work faster using it — you can get dark darks much quicker, and it’s harder to erase so it makes you commit to your marks more. But it’s also frustrating because it gets dark so quickly.

With Akon being a black dog, the drawing started out as a big black mess, too dark too fast. I almost just shut my sketchbook in frustration and walked away.

But then I had to give myself my art teacher pep talk (there are no mistakes in art, there is nothing that can’t be redeemed, no mistakes only opportunities, no giving up!). So I left the drawing for a moment, breathed a little, and came back. This time I used my kneaded eraser more than the charcoal stick. In doing so, I was able to lift away some of the darkness and to blend. I experimented with using my eraser in different ways — dabbing mainly. Now I am more satisfied with the finished product, though I don’t think I’ll be framing it or anything. But I do feel like I’ve learned more about using charcoal.

It’s from a picture of him emerging from water, that’s why you don’t see his whole body.

No mistakes! Only opportunities! (That was the motto of my elementary mentor teacher’s art classroom — wise lady)


3 thoughts on “No Mistakes

  1. I love that you teach about art here on your blog. I’ve learned so much from you. I hope you’ll do more of this, giving little tips and such.

    I’ve tried using charcoal, and have been more frustrated with it, but agree – sketching pencils sometimes aren’t dark enough.

    I’ll have to try again using your art teacher pep talk as I go along.


  2. I have never, ever done any work with charcoal. Well, maybe except grilling hamburgers. 🙂

    You are so great. I keep saying that, and I keep meaning it.

    Akon is one lucky dog… with a great picture!

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