Is it normal to severely regress after practicing intensely for weeks?

Home Forums Practice & Advice Is it normal to severely regress after practicing intensely for weeks?

This topic contains 21 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by Deleted User 8 months ago.

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  • #26657

    Yes.. I've seen this before and had this happen to me as well...

    The good news is that it's not a mystery and once you realize and accept what's going on you can get back on track again. You say that you have been drawing a lot, "hours a day for weeks..." and that you have been "hitting it hard...".

    When you work hard the body, mind and nervous system gets subjected to what is called stress. Stress is the load we need to push to get anything done and improve. A balanced amount will make us better/stronger and too much will make us digress in cognitive and physical functioning. Drawing requires both of these aspects.If your brain is tired and worn you can see that in the quality of your drawings. My advice would be to keep pushing but stop "pushing hard". Eat and sleep well. When you hit the sweet spot of the right ammount of practice you will start to enjoy it more and also develope skill at a much faster rate. Good luck!

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    I also had a tough time with stress this year. The worst thing is that food became a source of comfort for me. However, I ate when I was joyful as well. I'd eat two rows of cookies and feel terrible about myself. As a result, I started hiding my food because I gained about 30 pounds. I tried to strike a balance, but it seemed that eating would always be a narcotic to me, and losing weight was a minor obsession. Well, it went way too far. For this reason, I started a counseling course for managing emotional eating. Now that we've arrived at the present, I still have some challenges, but I've come a long way. Btw, guys, try to keep your stress levels low.

    • Vilhelm edited this post on August 6, 2021 10:26am.

    It's normal, relax, do something else, use exercises to put you "in the zone" again, are you hydrated? are you sleeping enough? My mindset while drawing is: you are not gonna love every draw in your paper, and that's fine, give yourself credit, and don't be so harsh. Just know that there’s up and downs and there's drops


    I completely agree with Sanne - I only wanted to add:

    When comparing a drawing session to work you've done recently and especially if your inner critic has a bunch to say;
    try to view your work as pieces of improvement.

    Maybe it doesn't look how you wanted but try to notice your differences in line, composition, even subject matter.
    What you produced has some meaning for your learning process. Even if it appears miles behind what you've done recently
    you may have woven in something you found difficult before and in practice - nothing looks like a finished priceless piece.

    Next time your inner critic is spouting off remind yourself who is actually trying here. It is perfectly fine to forgive yourself
    for only managing to draw one line one day. Part of getting out of your own way and pushing through roadblocks is going to
    involve a good bit of forgiving yourself.

    Good Luck! and Stay Safe!


    I know with music I go through regular slumps when my ear improves and I hear in more detail. This increases my expectations and I forget how far I've come. Maybe you are seeing more, and clearer and so you expect to render it in fuller detail, more fluidly but you haven't actually had a chance to incorporate that clearer vision into what you're drawing.

    Time is a factor. I try to reserve judgement and just put in each day's work and then evaluate after three months have passed. I always see some progress if I give myself enough time to do the slow development work.

    Maybe your expectations of fast improvement are putting on some pressure and taking away some of the fun of drawing? You can't replace days and weeks with hours. You need time away from drawing to let your mind and body develop. Sometimes just drawing for an hour a day for a month can do much more than trying to draw for six hours a day for a week.

    Deleted user

    I started life drawing in May of 2021 and by September I didn't want to do it all. I went from being totally obsessed to completely burnt out.

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