Apr 6, 2011

He will learn patience.

I've been thinking a lot about drawing lately, which I'm sure is no surprise given the nature of this blog. But I've been thinking about it, and in particular I've been thinking about not drawing, about what it's like when I draw and what it is that keeps me from doing it more often.

I doodle all the time. I've wasted countless post-it notes at work with random sketches of Batman or The Flash or just some random person. It's a nice little diversion from whatever I'm working on, and perhaps more importantly it's quick. I start it and I finish it in about twenty seconds, and then I move on with my day.

I think that's how I want all drawing to be: quick. As soon as I start, I just want to be done so I can move on to the next thing. Put another way, I have no patience. If I stop, or even if I slow down, I will either get frustrated or lose interest. I want to draw, but I always want to be done. Perhaps I have some weird addiction to the feeling of having completed something, which is truly a wonderful feeling. But it's a quick fix, and nothing compared to the feeling of having worked hard on something for a long time and seeing the end result. I felt that after I finished my first mini-comic, and while I still am not happy with the quality of the art I know that it's the best I could do and that I took my time with it and put everything I had into it.

I attended a small comic convention this past weekend, and there I managed to pick up a copy of The DC Comics Guide to Pencilling Comics for $5. There are no exercises or anything in this book, it's mostly a how-to book for beginners, which is what I need. My plan, then, is to work my way through this book. The first chapter is on drawing faces, so that's what I'm going to do first. I may spend a week or two on the blog posting nothing but drawings of different faces. Hopefully I will learn things as I go and there will be some sort of improvement. I think, though, that as long as I slow down and really spend some time thinking about what I'm drawing, that that will help. Here's hoping, anyway.

I've also signed up for a drawing class at a local art center. It's a ten-week course that starts tomorrow. I'll post stuff from that class as well, and I'm sure I'll work on whatever techniques I learn there right here. I'm pretty excited about the course, about the book, and about this whole undertaking. Here's hoping it actually takes me somewhere.

I'll leave you with a sketch that I did at a bowling alley a few months ago. It's a design sheet for a Norman Bates action figure, with swappable heads. Spoilers for Psycho, but, really, it's been 50 years, you should have seen it by now.



Jennie said...

How you feel about drawing is how I feel about writing and I think it's why I hardly ever start anything. Or, maybe, why I start so many things but never finish them because IT TAKES TOO DAMN LONG.

Eric said...

I look forward to seeing your progress. Taking your time with a drawing, slowing down and repetition will help you learn, certainly, but there's also something to be said about a quick drawing, especially if your goal is to make comics. A quick drawing can capture an energy that can add a lot of personality to your art. Don't discount "quick" so, well, quickly.

P.S. My word verification for this comment was "frewer". Like Matt Frewer. And that's awesome.

Heather Anne Hogan said...

I'm so excited about your drawing classes, Joe! That sounds so great! I'd love to take a class like that. (Except not about drawing. I'm a terrible drawer.) I can't wait to see what you learn and hear all about your experience.

Also: Spoilers for Psycho is one of the funniest things I've ever heard.

Jason said...

Bowling night... sometimes I miss you so.

I know it's great to have a finished piece of work in hand but remember the old adage "the journey is the destination". Once you really start to enjoy the process of drawing you'll probably not be as frustrated about the time it takes to do it.

I for one totally enjoyed your first comic (story AND artwork)and am greatly looking forward to seeing what you do next!