Inktober 2017: Day 22 (Trail)

Image: Inktober 2017 - Day 22 (Trail)

On the trail.


It's always fun trying to come up with a good idea to draw. So far each prompt has given me at least one good idea, but that idea is usually way too complex or elaborate, more suitable for a comic book or something I'd spend days on painting digitally. In this case, one of the first ideas involved a hunting party (or pack) and rather detailed backgrounds. That's not something I could pull off reliably within a reasonable timeframe.

I do this when programming too; I envision the finished project, including a host of use-cases that may not even come up in practice. When I was younger, this was a major cause of project stagnation; I suddenly had a mountain of tasks, not knowing where to begin. It's not a good thing to do, because it instills a feeling of daunting futility before you even get started.

Nowadays I just scope projects down to a Minimum Viable Product, which makes the entire thing much more manageable. It also ensures that the vast majority of work will not be wasted effort. This has become so routine that I rarely realize I'm doing it; anything not part of the Minimum Viable Product plan is put in a separate pile for later evaluation, allowing me to focus on the important parts.

I don't know why I haven't applied this to art before; it's a very similar scenario where ambition without matching skill or resources produce worse results. Realizing my own limitations and timeboxing each drawing forces me to come up with a variation of the idea that is more feasible, or come up with another idea entirely that fits the daily prompt.

For this one, I originally simplified the idea to a few paw prints, before I decided to throw in some visual perspective and draw an actual paw.

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