REWT - Learning Blog

27 October 2018

Learning to Draw: Objective

Developing my drawing skills has been a fuzzy objective floating about on the periphery of my mind for quite some time. I have basic drawing skills, but I don't have enough control to achieve the things that I want, when I want them. Having committed to developing this skill, my first step is to sharpen up my objectives as per my own advice in Learning and Revision. 'Improve my drawing skills' is too broad and fuzzy to be useful. The thing driving this need is an ability to produce simple illustrations for the children's stories I have been writing. I have a growing pile of drafts and the thing holding up publication is a lack of illustrations. I could use the services of a professional illustrator, but this is something that I want to do myself and I know that the concept I have in mind for these stories is quite simple. The type and level of skill that I have in mind would also allow me to develop sprites for my own animations and produce simple illustrations for some of the other technical books I have I mind. An illustration always helps an explanation in text. To be able to use drawing products, I know that I will need to improve my Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator skills. I have used these tools for many years, but I need to up my skill level from workmanlike to slick.

So, to follow my own advice in Learning and Revision, my objective is:

To develop drawing, photoshop and illustrator skills so that I can publish the first of my children's stories by the end of 2019. Drilling down into that general objective, the goal has to be, to be able to use pencil, pen, ink and wash on suitable support media to provide graphic material for digitisation and use in illustrating children's stories and animations by December 2019.

Stage 1: basic research and some basic skills

I do not intend to be producing fine art. I have no illusions. Even though there were artists who started late in life such as Van Gogh, I am unlikely to be the next one. I just need a clear guide to basic techniques that I can practise regularly. So, after a thorough rummage in the arts and crafts section of my local library, I found a copy of The Ultimate Drawing and Painting Technique Bible by Trudy Friend. It contains descriptions and clear instructions on a set of basic drawing techniques. I have extended my loan twice and I have been using it for several weeks now, so it has been a good starting point. I suspect I shall be buying a copy to use as a general reference and guide over the next year. Practising the various techniques is very useful and something I will need to continue with for quite a while, but it is a lot like practising piano scales. It isn't very exciting. So, I will be complementing it with some constructive doodling using Eloise Ronouf's Draw 500 Things from Nature as a guide. Hopefully, it will keep me from getting too bored. Completing the drawings in this book will be my measure for completing this stage. At the moment, I intend to be done with this by Christmas.

Stage 2

This will be to find a class to gauge how well I am doing and work out my next steps: January 2019.