Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Why I'm struggling to draw

I know there are people out there that could care less what I write but would like to see more drawings...

A good part of this stems from the same reasons I struggle to write.  I just don't have a lot of inspiration to draw from.  I have at least a dozen unfinished drawings that never got completed and I'm not really motivated enough to finish them.

Another large part is that I'm just not competent enough to really draw what I would like to... the fantasies that I could bring to life. 

I am not an artist.  I was raised in an environment where protecting my GPA meant more than being able to explore any field that I didn't already display a natural talent/ability for.  I've always wanted to be able to draw, I'm just terrible at it. 

What I am able to accomplish is by taking advantage of digital tools and existing pictures to create something that can work as something new.  It's usually pretty obvious which part of my drawings were done through free hand interpretation instead of from a model... they generally look significantly worse in their quality, detail, shading, etc.

Another block on drawing for me is that I have experimented with more traditional methods over the past couple of years and... I'm terrible at them.  There's a lot of tricks and understanding that people develop over years of experience that I just don't have and I get frustrated when it doesn't come together how I want it to.

One of the biggest hurdles is time.  Based upon tutorials I've seen from people who produce very high quality drawings, it involves multiple stages of building skeletons, rough sketches, a clean up phase, finishing the defined line art, shading/coloring, etc. that I'm guessing take many hours.  99% of my drawings I finish in one sitting (1-5 hours).  This is heavily due to the fact that, well, I get aroused drawing a fantasy.  If something happens that causes me to lose my arousal (run out of time, have to leave, etc.) it becomes nearly impossible for me to finish it with the same type of drive/motivation that I had when I started it. It's sort of pathetic, but it's true.

As for the process I use, when I explain it to people it's the equivalent of tracing parts of a picture, cutting out shapes of colored construction paper, and placing the cut paper in layers to form a completed picture.  At the end I will spend some time (or sometimes I won't...) adding in shading and lighting details.  On the upside, I am able to Frankenstein together pieces of different pictures if I want a certain facial expression, posture, etc.  On the downside, it does nothing to improve my abilities and sometimes I even hesitate to call them drawings since they are probably closer to traced collage work.

Here is an example of the process:


  1. It's great to see your process, as I have been curious about it for quite a while. I know you don't think there is talent in what you call "traced collage work", but I think your method allows you to show exciting things that might be difficult to express with just text alone. I really appreciate how you imagine such interesting scenarios, and clearly portray them with you artwork. When looking at your older drawings it's clear that the quality of your work, while good from the beginning, continues to get better all the time. I really hope you don't get too discouraged, as I know I am not alone in enjoying your artwork.

    1. Thank you, Chris. I think the big part is that I am more patient now, I just don't have much in the way of drive. Finding it nearly impossible to find models makes things difficult. Search engines just don't work how they used to.

      I do have a scene picked out for when my page views hit 1M. Only ~17k left to go.

    2. Thanks for the reply. I look forward to seeing what you come up with for your 1,000,000th view.