Posted 5 months ago

Ok. I did it. It’s not much. I just started. But this is the first time I’ve put pencil to paper with the intent to draw something in years

Posted 5 months ago

It’s been two years since I last posted on this blog. On a whim, I decided to glance through it. I’m pretty damn impressed with what I found. I realize that it’s not much. I realize that it’s not much. But I also realize that it’s pretty damn amazing. Those were the best drawings I’ve ever made. 

Hell, I even found the writing to be compelling. I’ve never really been one for blogging. I obviously decided not to pursue drawing. I didn’t enroll in a drawing/art program. Or even an industrial design program. I went with computer science. But I still want to be able to draw. I want to be able to express myself visually, in more ways than manipulating a photo or designing a layout. I think those are absolutely valid and beautiful ways to express yourself. 

But damn I want to be able to draw. To put pencil to paper and create. To capture reality. To tame my imagination. To stoke the forgotten forges smoldering deep within my throat. 

Maybe I’ll pick up a pencil again soon.

Or maybe it’ll lie dormant until I take stock again years from now, and say “?”

Posted 2 years ago

This drawing served only to reinforce the fact that I don’t know what the hell I’m doing when it comes to intricate details like hair or feathers. I mean, how the hell do you draw that!?! I’m getting to a point where I’m finally able to draw something that looks somewhat like what I see, but then I get to hair or some other fine detail and I just have to throw my hands up in despair and start squiggling my pencil… the results of which are unsatisfactory. Oh, well. I shall continue my practice.

I got kind of caught up in preparing for finals last semester, so I had to put drawing on hold for a little while. I’m hoping to make it a much bigger priority this semester.

Posted 2 years ago
Posted 2 years ago

I’ve been spending a lot of time studying drawing. I’ve been spending time looking into programs. Maybe I’ll get into that in a later post, but the point is I’ve been studying drawing a lot. 

I decided that I’d sit down and try to draw a photograph. And frankly, I’m stunned by the result. Who knew I had it in me? I understand that there are definite issues with lighting and shading and perspective and proportion, but come on, that’s pretty damn good for someone who really has no experience with drawing. 

I’m gonna try to paint it in photoshop next. I think that will go… less well.

Posted 2 years ago

This exercise evolved from a point Betty Edwards made on her VHS about foreshortening. She basically used a sheet of plastic with viewfinder drawn on and said that if you looked through it and imagined the 3D image your eye saw as a 2D image in the viewfinder that you could draw what you saw and it would look right. 

She then demonstrated this by placing the viewfinder on her upturned fingers and tracing the outlines of her fingers with a felt-tipped marker.

Now at first, this sounded really obvious and stupid. But as I watched the ease with which she traced her foreshortened fingers (foreshortening is terrifying to this unlearned artist) I got really excited as I emulated the exercise inside my head. So I grabbed a sheet of paper and recreated it as best I could. Imperfections aside, it drives home the case about drawing being about how you see (and think about) the world, rather than dexterity of the hands. 

Posted 2 years ago

This was a Betty Edwards exercise designed to “shut off” analytical left brain functions by literally boring it to submission. It involves sitting away from a table and staring at your hand for 20 minutes while dutifully archiving every micro-detail on a sheet of paper you’re not allowed to look at.

Hence the odd proportions and hand wrinkles hanging out in space.

Posted 2 years ago

Turns out, you sometimes just want to feel pretty.

Which is why I decided to follow a 15 step tutorial that yielded a not-quite-photorealistic-yet-certainly-better-than-anything-I’d-come-up-with-on-my-own human eye. Damn, I’m still impressed with those bottom eyelid eyelashes.

And in the process, I learned that with a few obvious exceptions, real life is really a bunch of subtle gradients and shading rather than cartoony black outlines… which is actually kind of profound.

Posted 2 years ago

I’m not really sure what the best way to go about learning to draw is. I’m positive that most people I would as would just say “Just draw a lot, every day!” which makes sense, but that’s just not me. I’m not really the kind of person that does something before I know how. I have to walk before I can run. And I have to have an idea of how to walk before I can walk, too. 

Anyways, I decided that I’d try Betty Edwards’ Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain which is pretty well reviewed on Most of the people seem to agree that it’s a good place to start if you don’t know how to draw, which is pretty much me. I’ve tried to get through this book a couple of times before, so I have a definite idea of what’s in it, but I’ve never actually put it into practice, so I guess we’ll see what happens…

I understand that Kimon Nikolaides The Natural Way to Draw: A Working Plan for Art Study is the book for learning how to draw, but I also understand that you’re supposed to spend 3 hours a day practicing the exercises. And I also understand that I have to know how to walk before I’m willing to start training for a freaking marathon!

Anyways, this is a self-portrait that I drew at the behest of Betty Edwards in this youtube version of her VHS adaptation of her book. I’m actually quite pleased with the fact that it looks like a human male. I’m less pleased that it doesn’t actually represent my personal race (nothing wrong with being black, but I would hope that a self portrait of myself would look a bit more like… my self, which is white, btw). On to bigger and better exercises! 

Posted 2 years ago

About me: I want to learn how to draw. Well. I want to learn how to draw well. 

I don’t have a wonderful, glowing relationship with drawing. I did it as a child. I stopped as a teenager because I decided that I wasn’t very good.

In the recent past, I’ve purchased books on the subject, but I’ve never been able to quite get through them. 

But I want to draw. I will learn to draw. And that’s what all this is about.