Good, it is not, but after spending pretty much all day today noodling around and getting nothing except more and more frustrated, it was a relief to have something come out, even a mangled something like this.
The title? Oh, I was thinking about something that John Carmack said, as an offhand remark during a tech demonstration once. He said that the difference between artists and the rest of us seemed to him to be a higher fidelity of imagination. That is, when an artist imagines something it has much more texture and detail than when a normal person does. A normal person like me, I sometimes think. It certainly does seem sometimes that artists have an amazing ability to encrust their visions with baroque detail at the drop of a hat, and I find this very difficult to do. I am, however, still an eternal optimist, enough so that I can sometimes enjoy drawing pictures anyway.
Having nothing better to do with myself, I painted a picture as an exercise. Why don't I spend this time working on the pictures I have promised my friends?
Yay for wrinkly shirts, a bit of pop, and a picture done in one session. Boo for working at a resolution that I can't seem to make look as good as I want, not enough pop, especially on the eyes, and losing track of things.
When looking at the initial sketch and progression, it becomes apparent that I messed up this picture. I ended up losing the line of the side of her face as I painted, eventually settling on something not as good as the sketch. Lesson learned: If you have a sketch you like, try to refer back to it.
There are two (solvable) problems with her hair. The first is the sharp edge with her face. I think that needs to be broken up a bit. Maybe some skin visible behind the hair strands, or maybe breaking the straightness of the edge. Pull back and darken the lower of the parts along the edge of her face?
The second is the area to the right of that, which is too light and uniform. Maybe that should be darkened, with a bit more saturation, and with a bit more variety in shading.
The unsolvable problems are a bit of stiffness in the way her hair falls, especially on the right, over her chest, and the way the hair is stuck in semi-uniform clumps/bands with too little variety. I should have mixed it up a bit more in terms of laying that out. I think this comes down to timidity.