Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

Beginner drawing adventures

As always, I'm forever amazed by the learning curve when I target something really new; especially things that seem so obvious once you know them.  These are some of the things I've discovered in the last few weeks:

- there is a distinct difference between tutorials that aim to teach a drawing skill and tutorials that aim to have you successfully draw an image at the end.   I'm getting much better at following the second type (see pics below ;).  And honestly, still so green I've learned something from literally every one, so Follow-the-Leader it is.  For now.  As to actually learning to do anything on my own - I'm being a little facetious - I do try those too and it IS making a (slow) difference.  But I very much love the "follow along and get results" version for now (yeah endorphins!).  Except there's a sad dearth of dragons, so at some point will need to apply those skills to creating my own.

- there are coloured pencils that are wax based, coloured pencils that are oil based, coloured pencils that are really pastels in disguise, and who knows how many others lol.   And while the online pastel enthusiasts tend to be serious purists about it, the others tend to mix and match intentionally.   All of the above are friggin expensive.  I should go back to a nice affordable hobby.  Like riding.

- Pastels generally, but of course not always, are layered dark to light.  The others go light to dark.  In both cases they need WAY more layers and colours than I would ever have imagined.   And some of those colours are wildly not something that would ever have occurred to me; this is an example of the difference between ability to follow and ability to do it myself ;).

This one theoretically took 22 pencil crayons, of which I had about 15 ;)
By far my favourite in-colour follow-along artist (Bonny Snowdon Academy) so far.

- my thought of learning to draw with pencil first seems to be the right track - all the others seem to start with very light pencil (cause it's erasable) and then build up from there.

This was one of the first, and still a favourite.
Follow-along instructions by my overall favourite YT instructor I've found yet:  Mark Crilley

- many "beginner" tutorials still often assume more skill than I posses.   Also, some of the ones for pencil crayons will share a sketch to trace first for colouring - I tried this a couple times and found it even more confusing since sketches for colouring often don't look much like what I would consider sketches lol.  So now I either take their version and use a grid to try and draw a simpler version myself (this is most reliable although still involves a ton of erasing) or I just do the outline and make up the rest as I go along.  Kinda depends how much patience I have at the time (eg - the kitten was a grid, the flower below was 100% freehand DIY lol - I just can't bring myself to care about the flowers at this point). 

- paper matters.  OMG does paper ever matter.  These two pictures were a day apart (first coloured pencil effort), with no practice in-between, following the exact same instructions, using the exact same materials.   All I changed was the paper.   Unfortunately though, I generally have no idea what paper to use for what and why -- and of course the internet has ALL the opinions ;).  In some cases it makes sense (if you're water painting you prob want something thick enough to handle being wet), theoretically all the pencils need to be layered so something with texture to allow layers is good.  But too MUCH texture gives what happened here.  And then on the flip side - the kitten above would've had whiskers if I'd had thicker paper lol - apparently the trick is to emboss the whiskers into the paper before ever starting anything w colour, except it was just in my little sketch book; there wasn't enough paper depth to emboss anything lol.

The difference the paper can make

- my social media doesn't know what to do w me having another hobby - mildly amusing to see it trying to figure out whether I want drawing, embroidery, handstands, fitness, dance, or something else completely random ;)


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