Crafting Relentless Self-Improvement

Changing Mindsets Update: Learning to Draw

Update: Reader Survey Still Open!

Many thanks to those of you who have already completed the reader survey; it will still be open for a couple more days.  If you haven’t yet filled it out I’d be most grateful if you would do so – it’ll help me tailor my content to make it more useful to you.  I decided not to promise a ‘prize’ so as to avoid having droves of random people show up just to do the survey, but if the responses are exceptionally helpful then I may reward one of them in some way.

And, in other news…

It seems like I’ve ended a number of my posts with some variation on “I’ll let you know how it turns out” – and I’m not always so good at following up for a variety of reasons, usually related to a feeling that I don’t quite yet have enough to report and that if I wait just a bit longer, the subsequent post will be just a bit better.

Several weeks ago I talked about how I’d been reading Carol Dweck’s book Mindset, which I’d read mainly to get a better understanding of the idea with a view to applying it in parenting.  I did not expect it to change my own mindset about something I’d assumed was a fixed (in)ability in myself: the absence of any skills related to drawing.

I’m about half way though the Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain book, and I’m getting better!  I’ve taken a sneak peak ahead and it looks like I’m coming to the end of the major building blocks of techniques, and I’m about to start putting things together to move beyond simple line drawings.

Here’s a picture I drew of my own hand, which was one of ‘pre-work’ exercises, designed to give you a baseline to compare back against.  Note the short, ‘sketch-y’ strokes, building curves out of straight lines.Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain Hand

Here’s one of my new running shoes which I did about half way through the half of the book I’ve read so far, and I’m especially proud of it not because it’s the most amazing drawing of a running shoe ever done, but because until I did it I wouldn’t have believed I was capable of drawing something as complex as that.  (And, Alvin got me a sketchpad, some colored pencils, and watercolors for Christmas!)

Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain Shoe

Here’s one of my hand holding some plumbing tape (watch the strands of my life coming together; I drew this while I was working on the kitchen…).  The spot where my fingers are curled underneath was difficult to draw as I usually draw on the couch in the evenings and our lighting isn’t great.  Note the more confident, continuous lines; the basic technique is to let your eyes follow the object you’re drawing and draw the thing you’re looking at the same time.

Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain Hand Plumbing Tape.jpg

The biggest problem I have with this is getting the ends to meet up – if my angle is off when I start at the top of my wrist then by the time I get all the way around my hand and back down to the bottom of my wrist the cumulative effect of being just a bit off in a lot of places results in a fat thumb that I have to redraw a number of times to get the wrist approximately right.

And, finally, here’s a drawing of my hand holding a pair of scissors braced at the top of my drawing page for an exercise on drawing negative space, but I decided to get some extra practice with positive space first.

Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain Negative Space

So: much progress.  I’m going to finish working through the book.  If you’re lucky, I might one day post the pre-work drawing I did of Alvin eating dinner while drooling over Adam Levine on The Voice.  I imagine it will have to be accompanied by a post-course drawing as well, so you can see that he looks terrible because of my previous lack of skill, and not because he actually looks like what I drew…

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  • Reply
    April 20, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    Your drawings look great! I’m interested in seeing & hearing about your progress since February ?

    • Reply
      April 20, 2016 at 9:46 pm

      Sadly not as much progress recently as I’ve been lacking big chunks of unintereupted time, which this method requires. Hoping to start up again when we return from Italy…

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