I am sort of a perfectionist, especially in things that require creativity. And while this is sometimes a good trait that leads to satisfying results, guess what: in painting it can stand in your way!
I soon discovered, that I started my paintings with the premise that it had to be flawless. Everything should be supercool, equally lit and equally detailed. The result of that premise was that I started to tighten up even in the beginning phase of a painting. It took forever to make and I always jumped into the details as soon as possible. It was also acompanied by a kind of fear of making mistakes. Considering the possibilities of digital painting, this was of course stupid. And even if you make mistakes, there is no such thing, only happy accidents :)
One day, I sat down and had an idea for a painting. A group of minotaur heroes, entering a dungeon (this was a joke from one of my D&D sessions). I decided to make the background first and try consciously not to cramp while painting. I listened to some music and made some sketches to warmup and then I just painted, not caring about "mistakes" or flawlessness. The result was this:
The only reference used was photos of me in various poses and some photos of cows from the net. This was another milestone for me, as the result was better than anything before. Just by loosening up and not really caring about the perfect result. There was kind of a flow or vibe while painting, something that is always present when I work nowadays. It´s an indicator for me to tell, if I´m on the right way. When this vibe is not there, I know, I have to stop painting immediately and do something else to loosen up again.