Too terrible toucan

I don’t know why I try to do art when I’m so terrible at it. It’s like I can’t stop myself from making gifts that are kinda sad and frumpy, but homemade? My biggest problem is still my incompetence at backgrounds. I was pretty happy with this toucan until I tried painting a background for it. Can someone please upload background knowledge to my brain?


And the worst part is, I think I will still send this to its intended recipient 1) because I told him I was going to draw him a toucan 2) because I’ve spent too much time on it already and I want to draw something new and 3) because I want to get rid of it. I’m scared that 3 dominates my life too much. Do I just give crappy things to people because I’m sick of working on them? Honestly, maybe.


15 thoughts on “Too terrible toucan

  1. I think it’s great. You’re too hard on yourself. My mother watercolors. She has found that soft thin washes of color in the background have been best. Try that next time 🙂

    • I did some soft thin washes in previous drawings, with varying levels of success, but I guess I was looking for something more complex for this jungle species. I love drawing the birds but I get so frustrated with the backgrounds! I used to ignore backgrounds, but the birds look so awkward hanging in mid air haha.

  2. I think it’s great and I kind of like the style of the background! There is something Matisse-ish about it. 🙂 As another commenter said, doing background washes first is easier, but you could also just buy coloured sheets (like pastel artists do) and draw or use acrylic paint for your birds. You can buy mottled sheets or plain colours and perhaps put a bit of shadowing in the background or cloud stuff. My daughter is a portrait artist and once she changed to coloured card backgrounds, life got so much easier! Have fun! 🙂

    • Thanks for the tip! I was still unsatisfied with plain washes, although I did have a couple of birds I liked with that kind of background. I guess part of the problem is I don’t know what I am looking for!

  3. First, you captured the bird’s personality – I can see him smile! That’s no small feat when he doesn’t have lips! I also like the way you handled the branch he stands on. Good detail!. You paint so much better than I do, so I think it’s great. I follow several painters’ blogs, because I have a love for art (but faulty eye-hand coordination). I see some of them paint the background first. Some leave white spots or pale spots for the main features, some don’t. It does require a bit of planning. Sorry, but that’s all I’ve got for advice – since I can’t do the work myself I can’t say it’s worth anything. I like your toucan and the background, but I understand your need to self-improve and strive for perfection.

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