Over the years drawing I've come to realize something: artwork can be very much like acting in a play. This holds very true for screw-ups. No one's perfect, we all make mistakes, a true artist learns to play on those mistakes and make something totally creative out of it. Not to say I am a "true artist" but this is a philosophy I go by. Sometimes a mistake can make your entire piece come to life.
Let's take this one I did the other day.
Just a simple line-art of my character design "Autumn Girl Chantilly" sighing (yes that's how small my eraser is, help me!). The pose idea was taken from a girl I found when I Googled "asian model" (I know, shut up). Mind you she was sporting a much stronger looking expression, but I chose something that comes more naturally to a younger girl, a heavy sigh.
Okay so I have this boring line-art, let's add some shading.
Alright, not bad. Wait a minute, hold up! What is that!?
It appears that my hand had slipped and I left an awful splotch on her face. I'm not fooling anyone, that thing is just... out there. I could take it out with Photoshop I suppose, or I could take a more creative route. Let's work with this thing and challenge myself.
Yeah let's just get right in there and scribble all over her face! But what really happened was... yeah I scribbled all over her face, in a way that I found more interesting anyway. upon doing this I realized it looked a lot like the shade a tree gives off. I've always wanted to try drawing someone under a tree so this was the perfect opportunity to test myself. So I drew in the tree trunk!
At the moment, this looks really awkward and you can barely tell what it is. So I proceeded to add more shading.
I continue along shading with purple. I only have six colours in these markers right now since I just bought a few to try them out. I have to make due with what I have! Hah. Anyway, I added deeper detail to the shading I already had around her face, in her hair and on her clothing and I proceed to give her a back-drop on the tree behind her and add a bit more to the tree shade. I also ended up adding a gradient background but I didn't show this in the version I put up on my DeviantArt and other websites. Lucky for you (lol), I'm going to put it up here.
So here is the end result!
And here is the end end result!
Yeah I'm totally a chicken and I grey scaled it. But you have to admit it looks much nicer than those awkward colours.
So as you see, some silly mistake can accidentally lead you into something totally awesome you never would have expected. To be honest, when I drew this at first I was just being bored and wanted to do something simple and I ended up doing this. That just goes to show, never completely expect the outcome of your drawing or you'll never appreciate it enough to take it further! I just hate seeing people throw something away or say something's dumb because they made one measly mistake. I figure, I made the mistake and I started this thing, it's my job to see it until the end now.
Although that's not to say this will work every time. I've tried working with my mistakes before and just continued to turn it into something totally nonsensical and dumb. Also, I don't suggest trying this on serious pieces like concepts and illustrations for projects or other things you're getting paid for. Let work stay boring and the awesome, amazing, wonderful mistakes come naturally in your own time. Think of them as a learning experience!
So I hope this helps anyone who happens to make mistakes frequently. You never know, you may just have missed out on an incredible opportunity!