Today’s Art (6th July 2019)

Well, since the weather was fairly hot and I was fairly tired, today’s digitally-edited painting ended up being another remake of one of my favourite paintings/drawings called “Lot 89”. You can see older versions of this picture here: 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016/17.

As usual, this painting is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

“Lot 89 (V)” By C. A. Brown

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Today’s Art (16th January 2019)

Well, due to uninspiration, today’s artwork is a digitally-edited monochrome drawing that is a remake of this old drawing of mine from 2014 (which is based on this photo that I took in Berlin in 2004).

As usual, this drawing is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

“Berlin Noir (II)” By C. A. Brown

Two Things That Remaking Your Old Art Will Show You (Apart From Your Skill Level)

2017-artwork-two-other-things-remaking-art-teaches-you

For today, I thought that I’d look at a few things (other than improvements in your skill level) that making new versions of your older works of art will show you. For best results, it’s usually a good idea to wait until a piece of art is at least 1-2 years old before attempting to create a new version of it.

So, here are two other things than how much better you’ve got at making art that remaking your old art can show you:

1) Your influences: Whilst writing yesterday’s article, I went looking for a painting that I remembered making in 2015. When I saw this painting, I just had to remake it. But, something interesting happened when I did…

Here’s the painting from 2015:

"Data Tower" By C. A. Brown [2015]

“Data Tower” By C. A. Brown [2015]

And here’s a reduced-size preview of the new version, which will be posted here in December:

This is a reduced-sized preview, the full-size painting will appear here on the 17th December.

This is a reduced-sized preview, the full-size painting will appear here on the 17th December.

As you can tell, both versions look radically different. This is mostly because of all of the extra inspirations I’ve found in the time between making these paintings.

When I made the original painting in 2015, the two main influences were “Blade Runner” and a game called “Dark Forces“. But, when I made the remake, I’d also been influenced by other things in the sci-fi/cyberpunk genre like these “Doom II” levels, “System Shock“, “Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex“, “Technobabylon” etc… too.

So, remaking an old painting in your current style can be a great way to see how many extra influences you’ve picked up.

2) Your best works: Generally speaking, you can find out a lot about what your “greatest hits” are by seeing which of your old paintings or drawings you really want to remake.

Whilst everyone’s motivations for remaking a piece of art might differ, it often happens because you want to see what one of your favourite pictures looks like at the highest level of quality that you can produce. In other words, you probably want to see a clearer picture of what you really wanted to draw when you had less experience.

This can be a good way to find a group of paintings or drawings you can show off if you ever need to give a brief overview of your art to anyone. Seeing which paintings you’ve remade (or want to remake) can be a quick way to find your own collection of “classics”.

Likewise, if you try to remake a picture and find that any remake doesn’t look as good as the original does, then this is usually a sign that the original is one of your best works because it has stood the test of time (although it can sometimes mean that you need to wait longer before remaking it). For example, here’s a painting of mine called “La Chanteuse” that was posted here in 2016:

"La Chanteuse" By C. A. Brown [2016]

“La Chanteuse” By C. A. Brown [2016]

I really like this painting! It’s dramatic, gothic and atmospheric. So, naturally, I tried to remake it about a year or so later. The remake was an absolute failure – although the lighting looks slightly more realistic and the characters are more well-drawn on a technical level, the remake just really doesn’t have the same atmosphere and ambience that the original did:

"La Chanteuse (II)" By C. A. Brown

“La Chanteuse (II)” By C. A. Brown

So, if you really want to remake a painting and/or if the remake doesn’t turn out as well as the original, then this usually means that it’s one of your best works.

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Anyway, I hope that this was useful 🙂

Today’s Art (21st April 2017)

Yes, today’s digitally-edited drawing is yet another remake (of this drawing from 2014) – but I have an excuse. Basically, my sleeping patterns were being stupid the night before I made this drawing, which resulted in me being extremely tired when it came to making the art for today.

I tried sketching out ideas for a few new pictures, but they failed very quickly. Realising that I was barely awake, but had to draw something, I decided to remake an old B&W drawing of mine (because it’s quicker than a full-colour painting). Although the drawn parts of the remake don’t look as great as I’d hoped, for something I drew when I had literally started micro-sleeping whilst in the middle of drawing, it isn’t that bad I guess. It’s still better than what I could draw on a good day in 2014. Yay! Practice!

Thankfully, a second wind kicked in just before I was about to digitally edit this picture – which is why it contains lots of detailed rain etc….

As usual, this drawing is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

"City Rain (II)" By C. A. Brown

“City Rain (II)” By C. A. Brown

Three More Tips For Remaking Your Old Art (Plus Two Art Previews :) )

2017 Artwork Remaking old art

Although I’ve probably talked about this before, I thought that I’d take a look at the subject of remaking your old art. There are a lot of reasons why this can sometimes be a good idea – it’s a quick source of ideas when you’re feeling uninspired, it’s a way to see how much your art skills have improved etc… but it’s something that every artist should do every now and then.

Still, if you haven’t really done it before, then I thought that I’d provide you with a few handy tips:

1) Don’t be afraid to make changes: When you’re remaking an old painting, then don’t try to copy it verbatim. Keep the basic “idea” of the painting and try to replicate any distinctive features of the painting but, when it comes to things like perspective, composition, colour schemes, lighting, small details etc… don’t be afraid to make a few changes. Treat it as a totally new painting, but one which you have a few guidelines for.

Remember, the whole point of a remake is to show off (if only to yourself) how much your art has improved or changed since you made the original painting.

Sometimes, these changes will work out and sometimes they won’t- but the best kind of remakes generally tend to preserve the basic core of the original thing, whilst also making a lot of interesting changes too. When this actually goes well, you can really end up surprising yourself.

For example, here’s a horror-themed painting of mine that was posted here early last year:

"Late Return" By C. A. Brown

“Late Return” By C. A. Brown

This is one of my favourite “recent” old paintings and it was one that I’ve wanted to remake for a while.

But, when I eventually got round to remaking it, I found that the improved remake actually looked very different. Although the full painting won’t be posted here until mid-late April, here’s a reduced-size preview of it:

 The full-size painting won't appear here until April.

The full-size painting won’t appear here until April.

As you can probably tell, I spontaneously ended up using a different perspective (since it seemed like a good idea). I also used a larger colour palette (since the original painting was made at the very beginning of my “limited palette” phase). But, most of all, I was able to apply all of the new knowledge about realistic shading, digital editing techniques etc.. that I’d learnt since I made the original painting.

2) Give it some time: If I remember rightly, the last time I wrote about remaking old art, I said that you should wait at least a year until you remake an old piece of art.

Thinking about it more, this time limit is possibly a bit excessive. I mean, since I make my art ridiculously far in advance, the was actually only about a ten-month gap between the times I actually made the two paintings that I showed you earlier (even if they will be posted here more than a year apart).

Still, you should probably wait at least six months, if not more, before remaking your old art. This is mostly because you need to give yourself time to practice and learn more than you did when you made the original painting. But, if a mildly old piece of art interests you enough to warrant a remake, then don’t hold yourself to arbitrary time limits.

One of the reasons why remakes are so interesting is because they show how much you’ve improved – so, give yourself time to improve!

3) Start from the source: If you’re remaking a painting that is based on something else (eg: a fan art painting, a study of an old painting, a painting from a photograph, a still life etc..), then go back to the original source material when making your remake. Don’t base your remake on your old painting or drawing, base it on the thing that that drawing or painting is based on instead.

The reason for this is that, since you’ve learnt more, you’ll probably be able to copy the source material with a greater degree of detail, accuracy and/or intelligent artistic licence than you did when you made your old painting. However, if you only base your remake on the old painting, then you will be limited to copying whatever you could copy back then.

To give you an example, here’s an old fan art painting (itself a remake) that is based on a live music video from the 1980s. I originally posted this picture here in 2015:

"Fan Art - Ghost Dance - Celebrate 1986 (II)" By C. A. Brown

“Fan Art – Ghost Dance – Celebrate 1986 (II)” By C. A. Brown

And here’s a reduced-size preview of a new remake that should be posted here in a couple of days. This remake was made by looking at the music video again and treating the remake as a totally new painting:

The full-size painting should appear here on the 11th.

The full-size painting should appear here on the 11th.

As you can see, I was able to include a lot more complex lighting and detail than I was in the remake from 2015. This was because I based my new remake on the original source material, rather than just copying the previous one. So, always go back to the source material if you’re remaking art that is based on something else.

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Anyway, I hope that this was useful 🙂

Today’s Art (2nd April 2016)

Well, I was feeling extremely uninspired and after making one failed painting the day I made yesterday’s picture (expect to see it in a blog article later this month) and making another failed picture a day later, I eventually decided to take the easy route and re-make one of my old paintings (this one from 2014 to be precise).

As usual, this painting is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

"La Reveuse (II)" By C. A. Brown

“La Reveuse (II)” By C. A. Brown

Today’s Art (6th September 2015)

Well, for today, I thought that I’d make a new version of one of my favourite paintings from last year. I am, of course, talking about a painting called “Amidst The Wrecks” which was inspired by listening to “The Sentinel” by Judas Priest.

Although this new version of the painting required more digital editing than I expected, I’m quite proud of how it turned out. I’ll also include the original version from 2014 here for comparison too.

As usual, both paintings in this post are released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

"Amidst The Wrecks (II)" By C. A. Brown

“Amidst The Wrecks (II)” By C. A. Brown

And here’s my original painting from 2014:

"Amidst The Wrecks" By C. A. Brown

“Amidst The Wrecks” By C. A. Brown