As part of my core skills development (and to improve confidence) I decided to work on my drawing practice. I’ve been working as an Analyst for a number of years and getting back into drawing I thought why not start from the basics? Maybe I’ll find a personal style, or a method I prefer? And if not, then practice is always good right?
I started by looking at online tutorials and Inspiration on social media, but that just wasn’t doing it for me. It has been a long number of months in lockdown, with minimal human interaction and online learning from videos is great but also can become too much. So with that, I found an Art graduate who was offering 1 on 1 tutoring online – why not eh?
Session 1 – Perspective
We started this session with some quick warmups, practicing drawing an item from life, then working on muscle memory for straight lines. Moving into perspective theory, and then practice. I was also given some ‘homework’ to practice drawing objects for our next catchup. Below are scans from my sketchbook of the session and later practice drawings.
Session 2 – 3D Shapes
Warmup for this session included a blind contour drawing (yes, draw without looking). Then a left-hand drawing, which you can see below as the second clock. I’m actually impressed that I managed to get it to look like a clock with my non-dominant hand. It looks like it’s from Alice in Wonderland. We then progressed to their on turning 2D drawings to 3D, including shading and contour lines. Finishing up the session by drawing more complex forms by breaking the image down into manageable chunks to make them less intimidating. I then also practiced more on my own with pen drawings. Below are the scans from my sketchbook relating to this session and practice.
Session 3 – Shading Techniques
In this session, we went over different types of shading techniques. As some of these techniques are quite time-consuming, it took longer to produce the drawings. Below are scans from my sketchbook of what was completed including working on shape definition without drawing the outline first.
Session 4 – Shadow and Light
In this session, we talked about shadows, shade and lighting. This session supports my other module learning about creating lighting, how light works, and shadow and shade. Below are scans of my sketchbook from the session.
I will say that most of these sessions theory principles I have learnt in the past. But going back to basics wasn’t about learning them for the first time. When I was trying to sit down and work on my skills, I was having a crisis of confidence – maybe a bit of Covid fatigue due to the pandemic, or imposter syndrome. People would say to me, ‘but you know how to draw? Why are you taking basic lessons?” Well, what better way to snap out of my funk than to start with core fundamentals? I did find a lot of personal benefits of going through this process and sessions.
I think the ‘Art’ or ‘Pretty picture’ style of drawing is not as important in product design as being able to communicate your ideas, but I had fun using different shading methods I may have not experimented much with in the past – and having a dedicated time to work on my drawing was beneficial. Also, directed work like this helps when staring at a blank piece of paper.
I think my personal style is definitely still developing, but I suppose one could argue that it always will be.