First of all, this was a huge accomplishment that I could even complete this project, nevertheless be able to make better art from it. All the same, it's hard to not get better when you tirelessly practice something every day.
In The Beginning:
Let us remember why I started this project. I was stuck in my head as an artist. I wanted to only make high quality work and to have everything already achieved with none of the practice it takes to get there... or so I realized after the fact. I started this project just so I got something accomplished in a day, and could move on to what I really wanted to work on.
Fueled with Energy.
It turns out that this project is the thing that I want to work on. It wasn't just challenging my motivation to draw everyday, but it was challenging my knowledge on what I was drawing and art itself.
Filled with Despair.
Then came my downfall. Midway through, I was completely downtrodden with my progress. I was inconsistent. I had several good moments, but they were few and far between these amateur bad moments. What was my problem? Why was I so inconsistent?
How I Turned My Art Around.
I made good work... but it was inconsistent. I wanted to improve on my consistency as well as the amount of time it took for me to make it. So what did I do? I stripped myself of all my crutches: color and texture. So, I limited myself to a single circle brush and grayscale. How did this help? Well, it made me focus on the depth I was creating via the tonal values, as well as the composition. If it didn't make sense in the base, then it wouldn't make sense with the flourishes.
After eliminating all the flourishes, I allowed one more into the mix: different brushes. This helped me get better control / a better handle on my communication. Before, the texture was a crutch rather than an enhancement. Before, I didn't understand how the tonal values communicated the depth of a piece... I was merely trying to draw a 3D scene in a 2D way, while now I can communicate it in a 3D way.
Understanding how to use texture in the grayscale took much less time to grasp than understand how to only use a simple brush and no color to make a dimensional piece of work. So, it didn't take long before I could start adding color into the mix.
Now, I can sketch and communicate in color and texture much more consistently than I could before. My work before was not wasted because it taught me to understand colors within skin and palettes, but I didn't know how to use those appropriately until I studied in black and white. Rather ironic that grayscales teach you how to use color, huh?
I did these when I was traveling away from my computer... these taught me linework, line weights, perspectives, and efficiency.
I needed this project. I never knew it, but I desperately needed the tools that it gave me in order to make decent work in general. I plan on doing personal studies next year, too. You are never a developed enough artist to not study the basics.
That's all, folks!