I went from this to this

I decided to get started with drawing again.

I went from this to this
Photo by Greg Rosenke / Unsplash

This is more a note-to-self post than a thought-sharing like others, but it's still worth a read, I guess πŸ˜‹.

One night, I saw a video of a policeman and a cosplayer in Sun Wukong costume. I liked what I looked so I wanted to draw this.

The rough sketch which you can check below turned out not good. Yes, I am not an artist, so I don't expect the sketch to be as good as the artwork of the artists I am following on Instagram. I graded the sketch as bad because I couldn't either recognize the policeman or the Monkey King.

The Policeman and the Monkey King

I sketched one hour a day every day before I got too busy to do so. I have studied other artists' styles and then somehow developed my chibi drawing style. Some of my friends are still using their chibi pictures that I drew as their avatars on Facebook.

Before I got my iPad Pro M1 and its companion Apple Pencil 2, I mostly sketched on sketchbooks, using pencils and colored pencils. I bought a lot of sketchbooks and art supplies, of course. Who didn't? 🧐 This behavior happened to everyone, I could say.

At the time when I figured out that my sketching skill was bad, alongside the fact that I found out that I had a bunch of idle art supplies, I also got inspired by some workshops that were organized for the artists who got involved in an upcoming art project in Hanoi. I got my chance to learn more about DΓ³ paper, thanks to the ZΓ³ Project team. I came to the amazing exhibition of Vu Thai Binh to enjoy how the artist applied watercolor on DΓ³ paper at his unique master level. I visited the lacquer studio of the HD team and the woodcut studio of artist Pham Khac Quang. After all, observing the progress of all the artists developing their pieces for the project initiated a sparkle in me.

I decided to get started with drawing again.

My approach is follow to the pathway that other artists stepped on:

  • Start with the basis: Lines, rounded shapes, basic forms and structures, etc.
  • Learn the hatching methods and apply them to the basic forms and structures.
  • Study the proportions and anatomy.
  • Practice, practice, practice...

From learning the basis, I found out that I picked up two of the top bad habits that should avoid to be better:

  • I don't draw straight lines, I connect small lines.
  • I overuse chaotic searching lines.

I found these very good tips here from Keezoo:

And below are the outcomes:

I also learned a lot about proportion from Keezoo, the man is not only sharing the basic tips, but also his practical tips that make life easier. One of the best was his "eye-level to ground-level as the base unit" tip. Gold! ✨

Below are some of the rough sketches which are much better than the rough sketch I shared at the beginning of this note. I know they are not the best, just want to share the progress (after three weeks). I need more practice, I know. But it's a good thing that you know that you are on a good track.

Stuffs doodling:

One of the best "hand tutorials" on YouTube is from Marco Bucci:

And the so-called outcomes (don't blame me haha):

So, from the rough sketch with all the short lines and chaotic search lines above, allow me to share with you the sketch that could be counted as my improvement, so far.

My target is to use watercolor to do urban sketching, and also draw some good quality pieces. The roadmap is still far, especially since my gap time is now close to its end. I hope I can manage to balance both working for a living and following the journey of making art in the future. I can't wait to share with you the incoming artwork I am now developing. I also want to share with you the way I tidied up my art supplies to have two sets for home drawing and to go drawing.

Thanks for reading.