Friday, May 7, 2010

Back to Basics

From my favorite DIY graphic novel site, reMIND:

"I don’t believe you can just jump in and start doing this [drawing a graphic novel] from the start. If you don’t have a good understanding of anatomy and perspective and other fundamental skills then you will spend more time focusing on learning these things then you will one getting the job at hand done. So if you're just starting out then take your time to learn your skill."

knew I was on the right path by putting my projects aside and focusing on improving my drawing skills but it's always nice to have it confirmed by another. What Jason Brubaker describes above is exactly the problem I was encountering while trying to draw a storyboard and a graphic novel. I was spending way more time muddling through each drawing to make it look correct than anything else. It became abundantly clear that I simply lack the skill to draw quickly and correctly.

Drawing well is like playing a sport well, one must practice.

I am confident of two things: that my story ideas are cool and have a lot of potential and that with consistent effort, I can develop above-average drawing skills.

My first step is to return to the exercises outlined in Kimon Nicolaides's "The Natural Way to Draw." I've tried his exercises twice before—the first time I got as far as Schedule 3 and the second time, to Schedule 9, in 2006 & 2007. I read my diaries from back then and discovered that the reason I junked this program the second time was due to rumors I heard at my job. They got me so rattled that I dropped my studies and decided I needed to produce a project ASAP in case things became impossible at my day job!

Now it's THREE YEARS LATER (!) and you know what? If I had stuck with that program back then, I'd be DONE with it by now and drawing better! So by listening to fools, I lost THREE YEARS of improvement time. Nice! (not)

Lesson learned: stop listening to rumors and listen to my gut instead!

Second, I came up with a separate routine to do during the work week. One good thing about having attempted the Nicolaides program in the past is that I know it can become tedious (but aren't all exercises tedious?) So if I'm up at 4am, I will NOT want to do a blind contour for 30 minutes! In other words, I can better handle the Nicolaides program on the weekend and will do a different but related program during the week, one that I feel will develop my skills while also being more fun and keeping me interested.

My intention is to do the entire 375 hours of the program. Here's one person who has tried this, too, but I'm not sure if the entire program was completed.

Off to draw...

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