Old Dog; New Tricks

Because I can only write for so many hours of the day (and because my mobility is still in the ‘can only stand/walk for about ten minutes before it starts to hurt’ range of things), I decided about a month ago that darn it, I was going to learn to draw!

Other than a semester of ‘art’ in high school that I’m pretty certain I got a D in, I’ve only really ever doodled in the margins of notes. I can draw decent dress/clothing design for general shapes and stuff, but… that’s about it.

So, of course I ended up getting a wacom pad because I didn’t want to have to scan things because I’m super lazy. I started doing the drawabox exercises/coursework as my structured learning. But one of the things they tell you to do is to spend half your time doing the structured stuff, and the other half just… messing around and having fun.

I’m still in the place where I want things to look good instead of just churning out my drawing equivalent of a million words of crap. But… whatever. It’s something I’m working on putting aside.

Since about three people read this blog, I’m not too worried about embarrassing myself by posting my progress. So here’s what I’ve been doing this past month, as a sort of way to track my development.

Baseline Drawing

All of these are baseline to some extent, but I wanted to do something right at the start just to capture my starting skill. I used a reference photo for the pose and outfit. This was my first time using the wacom pad and Clip Studio.

Expression Study 1

I found a 25 Expressions worksheet that someone had put together with Lan Wangji, so I decided to start practicing using that as a reference. I did five expressions a day. You can tell I was still getting used to the wacom pad. Also, I was still doing everything at 72dpi, so it all looks pretty rough compared to the next one I did.

Expression Study 2

After the Lan Wangji study, it seemed like a no-brainer to do a Wei Wuxian one. I had to put together my own worksheet because I couldn’t find one online. It really drove home how much more expressive Xiao Zhan is than Wang Yibo, at least when they’re playing these characters. The second row is when I figured out the difference dpi makes. So. Much. Easier.


I wanted to play more with the watercolor functions. My new writing journal has a bunch of pretty jellyfish on it, so I used that as a reference.

Shang Qinghua and Puppy

I’m writing a fic for Moshang week in which Shang Qinghua — for reasons that make no sense other than I wanted it — gets a samoyed/malamute/husky puppy. And then I found a reference pic of a guy playing with a puppy, and I thought… I want to try to draw that! Don’t ask me why SQH’s robes are orchid-colored. I was having fun with watercolors and it seemed pretty.

Anyways, that’s my progress so far, minus the endless ellipses, boxes, and planes that I’m drawing for the drawabox exercises. More to come in a month or two.

4 thoughts on “Old Dog; New Tricks”

  1. It’s difficult to imagine you would get a D in drawing. Your learning curve is very steep, as far as i can tell. I really like the one with the puppy, but i’m especially impressed by the facial expressions. Even though they’re worksheets, when you take it all in at once, it looks like something that would be a themed gallery show.

    1. Ahahahah. You assume that I did all the assignments. What probably happened is that I got bored halfway through the class and just sat in the back and read 😀 My challenge has always been sticking with something after the shininess has worn off. That’s part of the reason I’m posting these — it’s a sort of accountability thing.

      And you were totally right about what you said before of never being happy — there are a few of the expressions that I think I did well on, but most of them I look at and go ‘ugh, they looks so baaaaaaad’ 😀

      Noses, man. What is up with those? Why do we even nose?

  2. Great job on the art! I did a lot of sketching and painting when I was younger, and I’ve been wanting to get beck into it too. I recently took a watercolor class to pick up some new techniques. It felt great.

    1. I have this urge to put together some sort of regular zoom thing for people I know who art (regardless of level), but that also feels like it would require more organizational ability than I currently possess. If I ever do, I’ll hit you up with an invite 😀

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