Week 2 summary – learning to draw

So how did things go in my second week of my year-long project of learning to draw? (Read the background here). It felt like a good week. It seems like it’s getting easier to draw straight lines and smooth curves, as long as I can maintain focus and not let my mind wander. I completed Draw a Box Lesson 1 and began the 250 box challenge.

Even though I want to stick with an exercise even if it starts to feel difficult or pointless, drawing 250 boxes in three-point perspective by eye, and then checking the perspective with a ruler is going to take me a VERY long time. I will have to judge my improvement as I go to see if this is an efficient way to get better at seeing 3D perspective in my mind’s eye, and translating it to paper. Given that I know I have difficulties visualizing 3D objects and rotating them in my mind, my gut feeling is that I should draw more boxes with rulers and guide lines until I really get a feel for it. After that I can move on to trying to do it by eye. But that also means I’m second-guessing the process and thinking I know better than the teacher, so I will follow the instructions to the best of my ability and see how things go. Having said that, if I don’t feel I’m benefiting from the process after giving it an honest try, I will not be ashamed to try something different.

Week 2 drawing practice

The gallery above contains much of my drawing output for week 2. This week I also got my birthday present – a 12.9 inch 2020 iPad pro and Apple pencil. So I’m also doing some drawing in Procreate in the evenings or early mornings as relaxation. I can already see that the exercises I’m doing with pen and paper are going to help me in the digital realm.

One thing I learned in this first two weeks is that all hobbies are expensive. Of course you can draw with just a plain old nr. 2 pencil and printer paper, which you probably already have lying around the house. But if you want to get into actually making art on archival paper, be ready to start spending money. Good paper ain’t cheap. And good color markers like the Copic brand cost around 8 dollars apiece (about 7 EUR here in Euro-land).

The iPad was a significant investment, but it’s also not a single-purpose device. It’s already been a game changer to me thanks to the split view. You can watch a Youtube tutorial in comfort and have a notes app open on the same screen. This lets you take notes as you watch. The one thing I hate about learning things via videos and podcasts is that — unless you sit at your desk with pen and paper as you watch — you can’t take notes or do much of anything to facilitate reviewing what you learn. I now have a rule that I can’t watch a Youtube tutorial unless I do it while taking notes. We’ll see how long this lasts, haha.