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Enc's Ink: Learning to Draw is Fun and Easy!

EncEnc A Fool with CompassionPronouns: He, Him, HisRegistered User regular
edited December 2009 in Artist's Corner
Hey gang, Enc here. You may not know me, but I know of you! I've trolled PA for years, wandering from room to room, but oh, how I've loved this forum. All of you seem so talented, so skilled... and secretly I've always been wondering "can I do that?".

In my youth I loved art. I went to college for it, but due to my college's art school's rules, if you didn't know how to draw... well... you didn't get into the classes to learn. All of the teachers took your portfolio first, even for into classes. It sucked, because I really wanted to learn, but I kept doodling in my spare time anyhow.

Years later, I decided I wanted to do more than sketch faces on notebook paper and perhaps try making comics. Starting last year (when my computer exploded after a WoW raid), I actually began drawing daily in earnest. Below is the beginning of that journey:

OLD STUFF - Spoilered for Convenience (11 images enclosed):
January 09:

This is the first comic I did, starting a 20 page thing for my wow guild explaining my absence after a ninja related computer crash.

February 09:

One of the later pages in that comic series. Cons: Note that the MSPAINT art here started down the craptastic anime-influenced style that would infect my drawing and prove to be a serious setback. Pros: Ninjas with superscopes. Serious Business.

March 09:

About this time I went over to comic genesis to actually start a non-inside joke comic relating to a guy washed up on the shore of some island. The comic went on for about 40 pages before it finally got scrapped some months later. This is the first page. About this time I acquired a Wacom Bamboo tablet, which was pretty cool. I wasn't using pen and paper at this point, just the tablet. Which is also kinda sucky looking back.

April 09:

A later page in the comic mentioned above. The anime influence is getting strong, as you can see. Coloring, shading, and line strength was getting batter, but distance and perspective still sucked.

May 09:

Oh god, her eyes. Why? Why?!

June 09:

I actually really liked this page (and still do!). At the time, it was some of the bast shading I had ever done, and poncho guy was one of my favorite characters. His hat would get ridiculously bigger or smaller each time it was drawn. I still draw him on my notes sometimes.

July 09:

Near the end of the comic they ended up on an airship. The art on the last ten pages, as seen here, was a huge step forward on texturing and shading, also on proportions. Unfortunately, it's still all anime-eqsue in style, something that around this point I started leaning away from. to try and find my own style.

August 09:

A page from a series of a half dozen pages drawn for a friend's short story.

September 09:

This is the first time the character I've written about in NaNoWriMo over the past few years cane into art. The Traveler didn't get his own comic or website. At this point I started drawing mostly for my own improvement and to bring life to my writings. I liked how this one came out at lot.

October 09:

In September, I started actually drawing with pencil and paper rather than just the tablet. I immediately loved how much more control I had. The Traveler grew a mustache and beard at some point, which was fun. I also specifically started working on hands around this point, and I think they started getting better.

November 09:

The traveler ended up in a maze forest where the signs were less than helpful. His sanity rapidly breaks down. Distances and the like are getting better, and I can start saying that my characters don't look like copied anime-styles. Still some hidden in there, mostly around the eyes, but I was working on it pretty hard.

December 09:
Ha ha! It's December Now!

So, after the past year of working on my own, last week I decided that it wasn't enough. I wanted the education I didn't get in college. So, using the lessons learned from trolling this forum and some of the books listed on the sticky, I started reading theory and practicing hardcore on composition, rather than sequential art.

Yesterday morning I picked up Drawing with the Right Side of the Brain, and as an intro I was supposed to draw a self portrait with a mirror, a portrait from memory, and my non-dominant hand:

Self Portrait w/ Mirror: (Note: I am actually a young, cheerful person.)

Portrait from Memory: (My Girlfriend looks more like this image than I do my self portrait, I think. She does have that hat, and it is that big).

Hand: (This hand sucks.)

So, I think I've come a long way! Pointers, especially for my more recent things, are greatly appreciated! I'm going to follow up with more images as time goes on, but that's all for now. I will say, though, a week with formal education tools has obviously done wonders, as seen above.


Enc on


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    NibCromNibCrom Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Work on basing your drawings on geometric shapes. Your images are really flat and suffer from short, scratchy lines. Draw more things from real life. You've got a good attitude about this, so stay positive and have fun!

    NibCrom on
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    MustangMustang Arbiter of Unpopular Opinions Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    What nib said. Also slow down and pay close attention to your subject. It's better to spend 8 hours on 1drawing that's good than 8 hours on 20 drawings that suck. Plus you'll learn more.

    Mustang on
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    EncEnc A Fool with Compassion Pronouns: He, Him, HisRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Thanks guys! I'm currently working on drawing spheres with a graphite stick and have been doing some still life sketches of objects in my house. I'll see if I can get some more scans up this evening when I get home.

    I agree with the time thing. I spent several hours on the first one (self portrait), but was running out of time before work and chores on the last two. They felt rushed from start to finish.

    The short, scratchy lines thing is something I've had since the beginning. I find it difficult to get long, smooth lines so I guess I had been veering away from it unconsciously rather than trying to improve it. I think that's going to be one of my priorities going forward.

    Enc on
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