my creative cortex

getting through life with creativity

Why I love making detailed artwork

Hello, my creative neurons!

Recently I've been thinking more about what making art means to me and how the different art processes make me feel. As you may know, much of my work involves realism and detail.

Although a few weeks ago I spoke about how I want to do less portraits and explore different types of art, I still very much enjoy drawing things like detailed faces.

I didn't get into art for the therapeutic side of it, or at least that wasn't my intention. In the last few years especially, my goal has been to earn money from it – like I do with my portraits.

I've been making art my whole life, and as I get older I'm learning more and more how the processes I use actually do, unintentionally, affect my wellbeing. But I kind of have two aspects of my process that work in two different ways. These are:

  1. My art style.

  2. The art materials.

But even though they work in different ways, they also have some similarities. The best way to explain it is like you might explain meditation. Meditative practice generally has the role of calming you down and helping you focus - but there are different types of meditation and they each help you focus on different things, depending on what you need help with at the time. Does that even make sense?

Anyway, I'm splitting this into two parts. That means today's post will be about explaining how the type of art I make affects me in a positive way. My next post however, will explain the importance of the materials.

My drawing style is pretty detailed and involves a lot of realistic portraits, plants and other everyday things. For some people, this kind of artwork could make them feel stressed and anxious. If you're a perfectionist, this could make your perfectionism even more exaggerated. You could find that you get frustrated when you can't make something look exactly as you visioned in your head or like a perfect reflection of the reference image.

But for me, as a lifelong perfectionist, my experience is actually different.

It's meditative

For one, I find that having something to put all my focus on for long stretches of time to work as a form of meditation, a way to forget everything else. This is the case for all art making, but when I work on something that requires great attention to detail, I become even more hyper-focused.


The other thing that realistic art does for me is that it gives me a release for my perfectionism. Life isn't perfect and I don't have control over many things, but I have control over my artwork. I can control how much or how little detail I put into the piece, and opposite to what I expect many people feel, this actually calms me down. Making abstract art is also calming, but it's more of a quick release of emotions. Both ways to create art have their place for different goals.

You should definitely give it a try - if you don't feel confident making something realistic like a portrait, you could always start with a doodle or mandala drawing?

Let me know how it made you feel - even if your experience was different to mine.

Until next time,



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