In August 2020 I was really excited to draw, I had some digital illustrations I wanted to do and it felt like I had new ideas for drawings all the time:
2020: Before I owned a drawing tablet I imagined “if only I had a drawing tablet, then I would be doing oceans of art, top quality, prolific, wondrous, world-changing art, perhaps comics, or graphics, textbook illustrations, something”.
Then I actually got the drawing tablet, on August 19th, 46 days ago…
I thought I would either have a fiery explosion of anger as I couldn’t get it to work, or a wonderfully productive relationship with the drawing tablet.
What really happened was much more mundane, I was able to get it to work immediately, surprisingly, but with limitations that they warned me about (the buttons don’t do anything on my system).
My kids have been loving the tablet… which should excite me as a mother and home school teacher… right? It doesn’t. I’m just sad that when I pull out the tablet I get rushed by both kids to let them draw.
So I have neither been prolific and magnificent at drawing, nor not using the tablet at all. Which is surprising to me.
Today I did some chickens:
3D Rendering of the Art Cafe via Clara.io
Two Years Later
Good things happened, not crazy good things, but good things. In fall of 2021 my daughter transitioned to home school and being able to offer her a Krita Digital Drawing course made me happy. The teacher was Paul Gieske (thank you Paul!) I really liked the class, even though some of the program changed so I had to change with it.
Autodesk if free and Krita is free, but I prefer Krita, to me it has all the power of Illustrator and Photo Shop, but the menu is more like a drafting layout like Inkscape or Autocad, which is what I am used to using.
Finding the right drawing app was important because the tablet is just an electronic paper/pencil but it isn’t the whole art studio, the drawing app is like the art studio half where you see what you are drawing and save it or share it ext.
I wish I was using the tablet more, it works well, it is sturdy enough my 2-year-old and 5-year-old use it without hurting it, it is a good tablet and pen set. But maybe I’m not a good artist?
My skills are not crazy good, but not too bad, a non-impressive intermediate level. But my skills of making time and deciding on a project or just free drawing and then making a habit of drawing are very low.
When I started this blog five years ago I thought I would write and draw every day, and that never happened. I was surprised that I could write and take it less personally than drawing. I am surprised at how much I improved at the tech/blogging aspect of writing a blog. Like pressing shift and enter to not jump to a new block but still move a line of text down. Or setting a featured image. Or thinking of a style for a series. Or deciding how formal or casual I want to be or how much to hold back for safety or how much to share. I didn’t know how much blogging skills were needed to be an online writer, it’s not so much, but it’s not none either. And that’s not all the tags and marketing that I don’t do. There is unlimited marketing or tech stuff you can do on a blog if that’s what you are into or if it fits your goals for monetizing, which isn’t my thing.
The more my blogging skills got better the more the blogging could just feel like writing.
And I like writing, I like what it gives me (mental clarity, peace of mind, friends, an understanding of myself).
But I know that I would be happier if I did some drawing/art as well, I also crave that, but I feel too busy to start thinking about how to do it.
Which is part of why starting the Adventure Scouts was so good for me, we set up a drawing table with markers and a drawing book, but I knew that I always intended to set up the digital drawing there someday as well, so that it gives me that excuse to make it happen.
Sometimes for myself I can’t make things happen, but if it’s for a non-profit educational charity, then I could, for the children I can and will eventually make it happen.
So, thank you social pressure I guess.
When I write on this blog, there is social pressure, I have no idea how many of my 200 followers will read what I write and how many will scroll by their inbox not wanting to read what I ramble about, but not committing to do anything to clear the inbox mess “today”, but some of those 200 will read what I write and anyone online “could” stop in and access the site, from now or from the future. So that’s a bit daunting knowing that probably not too many people will see what I publish and judge me, but a huge amount of people “could”. The internet gets saved in time for those with access, so whatever I “Publish” it is “Published”, it may be casual, it may be low profile, but it’s out there. If I want to run for office (I don’t think I ever would) all my anti-government rants are out there, there is no way to burn that kind of paper trail. Being brave enough to take that very small risk of having to survive something embarrassing or that you regret later is a badge in a beginning bloggers skill sash. But you get a lot of positive things in return for that small risk. Like social pressure!
This year I’ve been writing about my personal goals, which seem pretty boring to me, but I’ve been doing them much more since I started doing that, so that’s really valuable. At this time when I’m struggling to get out of the non-productive lull I found myself languishing in during the pandemic, the extra social pressure is helping me be consistent. I’m not sure if I’ll always need or want that, but I don’t want to let it go until my habits are much more established. It is kind of like the world is my life coach, I talk about my goals, then they are more than thoughts, they are words and commitments, then the next week I see if I was able to push forward and if I wasn’t then why, so it becomes a contract between me and me, but the world is the witness signature.
So I want to try to draw everyday, I’m going to start with this book “How to Draw Kawai for Kids” and see how it goes.
Step 1 Decide what to draw = page 1.
Step 2 Set up the tablet/krita = already plugged in and installed so went really quick.
Step 3 Draw = I used about 8 layers, two times I practiced the shape and tossed it, there was the main outline, some separate colors of pink, dark pink, red, white, a yellow background, then I discarded the yellow background. I noticed my magic wand settings are still broken.
Sometimes I overthink the colors or want a cleaner drawing or don’t know what to do with the settings.
When I started I used a letter size canvas, I just guessed the colors instead of finding exactly which ones I wanted, and I didn’t clean the bottom lines, because this is practice work, if I were making it as a finished logo piece or something I could clean it… this brush was 40 px for lines and 130 px to fill the colors in. I did go through that free Krita class and now I can use the program as if I am really drawing or painting and not being super confused how to switch colors or get a new paint layer or move my layers around.
Thanks again to Paul Gieske and Jonathan the Chicken Maker!