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  • Tom LaBaff

Failing Forward - Learning From Your Mistakes


In this week’s one-minute nugget video, I share my failure. I hesitated to even show this piece. But what I learned from it, may be able to help you too. Todd (Mel Rodriguez) from The Last Man On Earth, is a great character and his chemistry with Will Forte, is unlike any show on the air. Truly original! But my illustration of him is underwhelming. The bottom line critique of this piece is that it’s too flat. How did I let this happen? I gave too much credit to the color thumbnail study. So here’s the quick failure story of this piece. I wanted to portray Todd’s cheerful personality with color and light. You’ll see in the video when I landed on a good lighting study, I marked it as the ‘winner’ and excitedly jumped into the final watercolor painting. I was so focused on capturing the strong light that I completely neglected doing any modeling in the shadows of his face and well, look at it. It’s as flat as a pancake. The takeaway lesson is to remember that just because something is in shadow doesn’t mean it won’t have three dimensions. Boom.

~Tommy