I think one of the most challenging things for me as an artist is deciding on a subject and finding a reference photo. When I first started drawing again, I wanted to try to capture a variety of different textures in colored pencil. In doing so, I produced drawings with a variety of topics.
However, when I was recently approached about doing a small solo show, the curator wanted cohesiveness, or a group of drawings that went to together. She was drawn to "Donuts and Milk" and said the piece reminded her of the work of Wayne Thiebaud. The burger and fries in "Happy Days" tied in with the donuts and milk. To round out the trio, I drew "Simplicity," the PB&J sandwich with the Tupperware containers. All three of these drawings include food and have a nostalgic feel. (Please see my gallery for images of these colored pencil drawings.)
So now the question is what to do next? I have learned that I enjoy drawing food, but I'm not sure if that is something people want to hang in their homes. (Although it worked for Wayne Thiebaud!) I also enjoy the nostalgic theme. So there are many paths to take...nostalgic scenes without food or ones that relate to each decade, food scenes that aren't nostalgic, or a series of three of each of the drawings I've already done, with the exception of "Donuts and Milk," because that series is complete.
And finally, once I decide on the subject matter, finding a reference photo that is free to use and one that has good composition is quite difficult. There is the option of finding a few reference photos, and piecing them together in a photo editing program. There is also the option of taking my own reference photo, which is impractical if the subject matter is something I don't have access to. Sifting through hundreds of photos and editing in Photoshop also takes time, which could otherwise be spent drawing!
And so...that is my dilemma each time I finish a colored pencil drawing and am ready to begin a new project. Hopefully the decision making process will get easier in time.
Until next time...