The night before I wrote this article, I felt like making some relaxingly “lazy” art. Here’s a preview of the digitally-edited painting that I made:
Although it might not look like it at first glance, this is a “lazy” painting. It uses simple one-point perspective, there aren’t any people in it and most of the location design just consists of angular 3D shapes. So, how did I disguise the sheer laziness that went into this painting?
1) Put effort into other areas: Although I find drawing people to be a bit of an effort (and I couldn’t even be bothered to include indistinct silhouettes in this picture either) and although the painting features some fairly simple perspective and location choices, one of the ways that I was able to disguise these “lazy” parts of the painting was to pay a lot more attention to the lighting and colours in the painting.
Since I’ve been practicing realistic lighting for quite a while and since I know how complementary colours work, adding vaguely realistic lighting and a vaguely decent colour scheme to the painting wasn’t too much of an effort for me. So, by adding these “impressive-looking” elements of the picture, I was able to disguise the sheer laziness of the rest of the picture without too much effort.
The same is true for any artistic skill that you’ve practiced a lot and/or find easy to use. If you’re really good at, say, hatching and shading – then include lots of this in your lazy artwork. If you’re an expert at using digital effects, then add lots of them to your lazy artwork. If still life painting is your forte, then make a realistic – but “easy” – still life etc
As long as it doesn’t stand out too much, then adding lots of extra “effort” to one element of the picture can be an easy way to draw the audience’s attention away from the lack of effort in other elements of your “lazy” piece of art.
2) Practice: As counter-intuitive as it sounds, the more effort you put into practicing regularly, the better your lazy artwork will look. This is because the improvements and skills that you’ve gained from making more effort-intensive works of art will come in handy when you’re having a lazy day.
In other words, the more you practice, the better (and less “obvious”) your lazy artwork will look. Having some experience and regular practice will mean that a “lazy” piece of art you make today will still look better than a non-lazy piece of art that you made a few years ago. All of the skills you’ve learnt from the times when you’ve felt more motivated, inspired or enthusiastic will pay off when you’re having a lazy day.
Even the small amount of practice that you get from making a “lazy” work of art will help you to see what does and doesn’t “work” when it comes to making good-looking, low-effort artwork. So, even making lazy artwork is still a type of practice.
So, as counter-intuitive as it might sound, keep up your art practice – even on lazy days.
3) Atmosphere and mood: Simply put, audiences are willing to overlook a lot of technical flaws and simplistic elements if a piece of art is distinctive, atmospheric, amusing or intriguing in some way or another.
This is why, for example, regular webcomics and some political cartoons can use fairly simplistic artwork and still have a lot of readers. Since the audience’s attention is drawn to the comedic elements of the cartoon, they are more willing to overlook the hastily-made and undetailed artwork.
In the example at the beginning of the article, I took the opposite approach to this. By making my painting gloomy, mysterious and atmospheric (eg: through my choice of lighting, weather, location etc..), I was able to draw the audience’s attention away from the fact that it’s a simplistic one-point perspective painting that consists of several 3D shapes and a relatively small number of colours.
So, yes, if there’s something interesting, funny etc.. about your art, then your audience is going to focus on that element of it.
Anyway, I hope that this was useful 🙂