Draw a box, part 1

I’ve been working on improving my artwork, which over the years has gotten what I personally consider marginally better. One of my goals for the year was to hopefully make large strides in my understanding of drawing, to the point where I’m fairly comfortable drawing from my mind instead of using a reference.

The main issue I’d been having is knowing what to do to improve, outside of just drawing a lot. You can see what sort of stuff I’ve been doing here. It’s very easy to go all over the place, and I personally haven’t felt that I’ve made very many strides over the last 21 days.

During this month of non-stop drawing I’ve read several books and attempted to work through them, only to get frustrated due to my own lack of understanding of how to apply what I’d read. I’ve played music for many, many,years, and the first thing you learn is the fundamentals. Scales, cords, etc. And you do them over and over and over until you can do them in your sleep. And then you work on different pieces to develop the skill. And somewhere along the way, you just get it. The music flows, you hear a song in your head and your fingers do their thing.

For people with talent, sometimes it happens right away. For most people, just doing the work and having a love for what you’re doing will get you there. Eventually you’ll hear it, and it will flow like water.

I want the same for my drawing. Except that I was never given any scales, or chords. I didn’t move on to pieces that would mold my skill into something useable, so I felt like I was banging away on the piano, able to hear music in my head but never able to get my fingers to express it in the way I wanted.

While I was googling around looking for a book or tutorials that might help I ran across  a website, http://www.drawabox.com that purports to teach in the way that I’m looking for. The basics, with exercises such as the one in my image, among other things drawing lines, circles, eclipses, boxes. The guy that runs it, Irshad Karim, also has a Patreon set up, if you donate anything a month he will do critiques plus there is bonus content. I’ve spent a good amount of time looking through the course on drawabox, and from what I can see its worth a lot more than he’s charging. He’s offering what is essentially a full blown art class for nothing, with art critiques for as low as $1 a month. 

So what does the course include?

First things first. 

Here’s how you hold the pen. Exercises.draw lines, boxes. Ghost lines. Cylinders. Plants. Textures. Organic forms. The human body. Anatomy. Perspective. The list goes on and its a long one, and I’m not sure how long it would take if someone decided to do the whole thing. Maybe a semester in college? Maybe longer. 

I am going to post updates here as I move through it. It should be fun, and I’m looking forward to it. If you ever wanted to learn how to draw, nows your chance. From the website: “Anyone can learn to draw. It’s not some magical talent a few people are born with. It’s a skill you can train.” Here goes.


The Samsung Note5 as a sketching tool 

I decided I was going to draw for at least 30 days straight, and I’m currently 2 weeks in to it. While I’m not afraid to utilize my trusty pencil and paper sketchbooks, I find myself in more situations that make it inconvenient to carry even a small sketchbook and favorite pencil.

Enter the Samsung Galaxy Note5. I have had it for almost a year now. I chose the phone specifically because it had a stylus. There are really only 2 phones on the market that have them, and the LG Stylo (I think it’s called) really isn’t an option. That phone only has a poking device, no sensitivity. 

The Note5, on the other hand, can do some pretty great things as far as art is concerned. The stylus is very precise, it is a bit small but since I primarily use if for sketching I don’t find it off putting, especially considering the lack of devices that include some sort of pen.

There’s a wide variety of apps that can be used for drawing. Samsung was nice enough to include a Sketchbook for Galaxy by auto desk, which is still my primary sketch app. I have tried others,but keep returning to this one.

The screen on the phone is a nice 5.7 inches, very large and bright, probably still one of the best on the market.

Battery life: I’m not thrilled with it, but that’s partially because of how I use the phone, and partially because Samsung didn’t put a large enough battery in it. 3000 mAh is kind of small for a phone this size. They fixed that issue in the note7, but since the recall I have not had a chance to test it.

Storage: for most people 32gb is probably be enough. For me it’s definitely not, and I’ve found myself in the position of needing more but having no way to get it. Samsung stupidly didn’t include an SD card slot. While some would argue that it isn’t needed in the age of cloud I beg to differ. I have filled my phone up multiple times with pictures and video (I have my first child), and I also like to load audio books and tutorials. Those take up a lot of space even at the lower resolution, and storage goes quick. This is an issue Samsung fixed with the Note7, but with the recall we are still waiting for it.

Overall: I’m really impressed with the phone. It’s a high quality device, But does have some downsides. If you want a phone you can do art on this will definitely do the job, no question. With the new note7 (re)release the price of this one should drop considerably. If don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for the newest one and can see past the lack of sd card, I would definitely recommend it.

4 Years Later…

4 Years Later…

It has been 4 Years since I posted anything in this space, and a lot has happened. 2 parents passed away (my dad and my wife’s dad). We had our first child after fifteen years of trying, hoping, and praying. 

He is almost 8 months now, an amazing ball of energy that keeps us smiling as we watch his progress with pride only parents could have for basic things like laughing, rolling over, and the very beginnings of an army crawl that keep us recording him with anticipation.

We moved, having decided that we needed to be closer to the only parent either of us had left(my wife’s mom), both for our child’s sake and for hers., to hopefully help ease the loss that we both feel.

I have written during the span of time I’ve been away from my blog, but I’ve done some other things as well. I’ve picked up the pencil in order to draw more, and I’ve formed a small media company with a good friend of mine to make games, both card/board games and video games, as well as publish books and some other assorted stuff. You can see the Facebook page here

Some things we have in the works:

  • An educational card game called Flipwords
  • Re-release of my novel, Confessor
  • A 2d space shooter game
  • An as yet named novel, that combines some scifi and fantasy elements. More on that later.

What can you expect to see in this space going forward?  More content, for one. Some reviews of games, more writing/book related stuff, tools of the trade, drawings etc. Stay tuned for more as things move forward, thanks for reading.