Have you ever feared failure after success?

I have and I believe my fear has come true. LOL! I thought the hummingbird was pretty good and I was excited about doing another bird and it is a FLOP!!! Oh, I wish I could use colored pencils. I must be too impatient for them. Anyway, this is it. I have a table on the back porch covered with birdseed and a piece of wood sticking out of the middle. I set up the camera on a tripod, focused on the wood, and caught Mr. Nuthatch. The photo is good. The colored pencil drawing…well…you can see for yourself.

I burnished with color and with colorless blender. I layered and layered. I burnished some more. For the background, I burnished with gamsol and then colored over it and burnished with the colorless blender. I could not get the blending that I wanted. Sigh…


Yep, I have. I am teaching myself classical oil painting and every hurdle that I overcome I get that awesome feeling of achievement and then the next hurdle can unnerve me a bit or perhaps make me scared to attempt the next step. Or as you have said here, I feel like I have achieved on one painting and then am disappointed with my follow up result on another. Part of the journey I guess?! :grinning::grimacing: I try and remember what a few professional artists have said to me though in the past and that is to never worry about messing a piece of art up, because it can stop you pressing on and achieving, which can be far more damaging than messing up your one painting or whatever. I have found it useful to spur me on at times of doubt. Especially as I am not taking on commissions etc.

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This is beautiful. Love it. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Enjoy!

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Thank you, James. Yes, the fear can be crippling. I also think that I am looking for colored pencil to make a piece that looks and behaves just like pastels, but without the drawbacks of pastels. LOL! I must just keep going…

Thank you, Denise. :grinning:

Every single time! Then, I try to tell myself that this is the first time I will execute that specific drawing or painting and that particular subject. Yes, I know, it’s a bird as well, but it’s a different bird, a different pose, a different time of the week, perhaps a different mood on that day for you. So, even if you feel that it isn’t as good as you would have liked it, you can always turn around, and look at all the other wonderful things you did - even when you had doubts. Ginny, you are being too hard on yourself. Or perhaps not: being hard on yourself is what made you the excellent artist that we all know you are. I like Mr. Nuthatch. I love your art.


Patricia, I am glad you are on my side. LOL! Thanks for the peptalk. It has crossed my mind that my wacko-ness contributes to my art. LOL!


I definitely agree that we are all our own worse critics and therefore I think it helps us push ourselves in the end, even if it doesn’t always feel great, we eventually push through and feel pleased we did. :grinning:


Ginny, I think your nuthatch is lovely! Well done! I agree with the fear of failure after success. That’s why I’ve joined here. To see if I can become more consistent with each piece I do, rather than wondering if I’ll ever be able to do that again!

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I have been reading your post, Ginny, and all the comments, and I have a confession to make. I am crippled by my fear of failure too.

I am that damaged artist, that James instructors were talking about, because I let that fear of messing up stop me from doing any art for 17 years!

I am here now, because I have finally decided to meet that fear head on.
Thank you, Ginny, for this topic, and for posting your picture. Keep on keeping on, I too think that you are being too hard on yourself!

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I am reading, for the second time, the book called Art & Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland. It is an amazing book and I highly recommend it.

I have been an artist, in my heart and mind, for my whole life. When I was a child, I enjoyed art in school, but did most of my art in private and was ashamed, because I was not good enough. It is not until just a few years ago, that I decided to just do it and not worry about it. Well, I am doing it, but I am still worrying about it and it makes me crazy, sometimes.

We all need to just keep going.

Thanks for your comment. You are at a good place, here at The Virtual Instructor, to face your fears and get it going.

I like your little nuthatch and wood texture is very nice! I will definitely look up this book!

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I once painted a picture of a scene in Atlanta for my Mother; then my sister wanted the same painting. I worked and worked on it and then finally decided that I would just have to accept how it looked versus the one I painted for my Mother. The difference was that it looked like it was taken at a rainy night. I almost think I liked it better. She left it at the house when she divorced and her ex-husband must have taken it. Wondered if he still had it.

Talk about the fear of failure after success. I found it difficult to post pictures I had done years ago. But, I wanted something to look at and know I could draw and paint again. It was a slow go; but I am getting there each day.

Hang in there.