Getting back into the habit

Home Forums Practice & Advice Getting back into the habit

This topic contains 6 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Finn 11 years ago.

  • Subscribe Favorite
  • #17

    Awhile ago I was really into practicing with the figure drawing tool here. I was really hitting my stride.. When, oh no, the tool went down for awhile.

    It was very sad, and so for a few days I didn't practice. Unfortunately that little bit of a break completely destroyed my momentum and I have had trouble getting back into it again ever since.

    I didn't think such a small break would really thrown it off so much. But it did. I for awhile completely forgot to do any art what so ever. It has been months.

    I am trying again to refocus my energies. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks!

    Please support Line of Action

    Support us to remove this


    Hi Chase!  :)

    The first thing I would like to say is that what you're going through is completely normal and understandable.  We're human, sometimes other things take over and getting back into what was a routine or something we want to do, can be a little tough.  That's ok!  :)

    The next thing I wish to tell you is to not be so hard on yourself!  Just start with a clean slate instead of thinking things like 'I can't focus like last time, it was so much better when I did figure drawing before' etc.  Just let that negativity go.  I know it's so easy for me to say this but you can think of it as a skill that can be applicable to other parts of life; the more it's practiced the better you get at doing it.  This isn't going to be the first time anyone stumbles or stops drawing/doing what they love for a while and it's not going to be the last. Just know that everything is going to be ok and that yes, you most certainly can get back into figure drawing, it's not an impossible dream!  :)

    One thing you might want to try, if this isn't what you did before, is find the same time slot everyday to do your figure drawing.  I know people who meditate and do this (as in, same time each day) and after a while of doing it on a daily basis, it became part of them so that when they meditate at that time, their brain is so used to it, it's easier to focus (if that makes sense!).  Sorry if I was presumptuous just now!

    If anything else, perhaps you can make a little commitment here to the board!  You can start small, that's totally cool.  Maybe 10 minutes of drawing everyday for a week?  And from there, you can build it up as you please.  You can ease yourself into it rather than jump right into the deep end.  Don't think about how much you used to do and compare, just focus on now.  :)

    I hope something in here was helpful and that I haven't blabbed too much.  Feel free to reject anything as you wish!

    Good luck with your drawing, I know you'll get back into it!  Take your time!  :)


    I guess I can try for 10 minutes a day. That is simple enough. I am starting doing 10 1 minute hand sketches. Since I really want to get better at drawing those.

    I have a stream of my practice on minus, since 10gb should be enough for all my practice work, even if it isn't. It is just practice work and I can delete older pieces if I ever run into the wall.

    All good pieces end up on dA.


    They are not really that good, and might not even classify as 'gesture' drawings.


    Hey chase! I think I know where you're coming from, I've ended up taking a hiatus from drawing and I was having trouble getting back into the habit of drawing every day. It was easier to spend an hour looking for an eraser rather than sitting down and drawing for 10/20/set amount of minutes.

    In the end, I sat myself down and just drew. One line on a blank page. That was as much as I felt like drawing. The next day, I managed two lines. The next day, a quick gesture sketch. By that point, I'd remembered that I enjoyed drawing, and I *wanted* to draw, and so it wasn't a chore to say "I'm going to draw *what I like* for as long as I like now."


    One thing struck me about your last comment. "They are not really that good" seems out of place. Please don't judge yourself against anyone else. Judge your work against yourself. Do *you* think you're improving? If yes, great! If not, what can you do to fix that feeling?


    Keep up the good work!


    Well you say that but, it is hard to actually do. I know others art is so much better, and while I don't expect mine to be anywhere near as good, I would at least it look mostly right (anatomy wise).

    I imagine all kinds of interesting things or people that I want to draw but it never makes it to the paper intact. Very likely my mental image was incomplete or broken, or my hand just doesn't know how to translate from my head to the page.

    It's frustrating, and I know that I can only improve through practice, but the practice is torture...

    What was I saying? Oh yeah. While I have improved, that alone doesn't make me feel that good, since most things I draw don't even look vaguely correct.


    Of course it's hard to do. Everybody I know has run into this hurdle at some point, and most of them gave up and always lament to me that they can't draw at all. Those that didn't give up are still drawing today.


    "I imagine all kinds of interesting things or people that I want to draw but it never makes it to the paper intact." I think this is pretty common for most people. Some people like to write the idea down and come back to it later, once they feel skilled enough to tackle it; others prefer to give it their best shot and rework it later once their skills have improved. One pretty popular practise on DeviantArt (long before the Draw This Again contest) has been to take an old picture and render it again, to compare changes in style and technique.


    Personally I'm in the 'write it down for later' camp, because there are some characters I want to draw, but I know that I'm nowhere near ready. Like you said, I don't know enough about drawing people and faces to render them properly and what I see in my mind won't make it to the page. So I keep practising people, because each sketch (for better or worse) brings me one step closer to being able to draw these characters. I haven't shared all of my sketches, because some of them aren't even recognisable as human. I keep them in my sketchbook for myself to review later.


    I'm not trying to be patronising, because I get frustrated too. When that happens, I step away from my studies to something familiar, something that I feel I can draw easily and enjoy; for me, that's drawing horses. Or if I'm having a terrible day, I just doodle stick figures or mess around with a different medium; sometimes I end up with a picture, and sometimes I just end up with a colourful mess. Those times, 'good', 'correct' and 'accurate' don't even exist in my mind. The only aim is to do something, regardless of whether it's good, bad, ugly or something else.


    So good luck trucking through the frustration, because it's a pain and it can kill the fun of drawing, but when you look back on your drawings, you may be surprised at what you see.

Login or create an account to participate on the forums.