Doodling with a 3B pencil: upper, a single line drawing of a landscape; lower, a more realistic rendition of that lanscape.
I saw an interesting video on You Tube by Philip VanDusen on whether or not artists should follow an urge to be multi-creative or just specialise.
As a student I was obliged to try my hand at a variety of (non-music) art forms which I think is important for any artist to do in order to find their preferred means of creating art. My preference at that time was pencil drawing. I loved the feel of graphite on paper and the way tonal values could be established to create mood. I still do.
I also became passionate about monochrome photography (which had the added advantage in those days of being much cheaper than colour photography!) both because of the tonal values and the grain so, for a time, I focused on photography instead of painting or drawing.
More recently I wanted to master watercolour as it was a medium with which I had previously had some difficulty in controlling. I think, now, that the difficulty stemmed from my pencil drawing. Using a pencil to lay down tones is relatively easy, especially in greyscale drawings, whereas water takes control of where colour will settle or mix.
Watercolour artists may have an idea of what they intend to paint but they have the good sense to go with the flow when the mix of water and colour hit the paper, hoping that happy accidents will create something special.
While, temporarily at least, I am not in a position to try my hand at other creative arts e.g. printing, engraving , encaustic etc I plan to do so at a later date. I have some ideas for these mediums in my head that need to be brought out at some stage. For the foreseeable future my plan is to unlock the ideas more suited to watercolour, acrylics, oils, gouache, oil pastels, pastels and charcoal. My mind’s eye has already defined some images for each of these mediums so my priority is to let these crystalise on paper or canvas as soon as I can. I can also do these in my journal as and when I want.
So, yes I think being a multi-creative is a good idea. It offers a means to release images from ones mind in the knowledge that one medium, rather than another, will provide the way to produce the result that I hope for.
As an example I think that some of my bird or plant painting would be better suited to gouache than to watercolour. The styles and approach to painting are different, but that’s what makes this more satisfying.
Such an approach may not be best from a commercial perspective, but it is certainly good for my soul and thus may provide more interest for the viewer. If any pieces are, in my humble opinion, saleable and I decide to sell them, then that’s another matter.