Monday, 17 July 2017

One year of drawing diaries

A picture for each month, starting May 2016 (top left)

When I was working on my drawing diary of May, I got a déjà-vu. It suddenly occurred to me that I've been documenting my drawings on this blog for a whole year! Time for a Reflective Moment.

When I started with these diaries, it was scary to post my drawings online. Doing it anyway and getting positive responses on them really has made me care less about that. And that's a good thing! Because when I look back at my posts, it's clear that I've never drawn this much in a year before.

Materials, techniques and motivation

I've been scrolling through my past posts to see what material and techniques I've used most: fineliners (3), pencils (4), waterpaint (8), white pencil on a grey background (9), conté crayons & charchoal (16) and markers (20). Pencils and waterpaint are my usual go to techniques, so I was surprised to find that I've been using new materials for the majority of the time! I think that letting go of the fear that things don't turn out well has really helped me being open to freely experiment with them.

Generally speaking, I draw to improve and enjoy myself. It's the best feeling when you have created something and it's better than you could've hoped. The more time I spend drawing and the better I get, the more satisfying it has become. But if I look back at the past year, there were also more practical reasons for drawing:

Drawing diaries so far

Drawing is something very personal to me. So when I look back at my drawings of the past year, memories resurface. Sometimes it feels like I've achieved nothing, but when I read back, I realize that it isn't the case; lots of things were going on, and I'm usually too hard on myself. This is what I've written the past year:

If you've read any of my entries, you know that I don't just post the drawings I'm happy with; this is not supposed to be a "look how amazing I am" show. When you're browsing through drawings by artists you admire, it's easy enough to get discouraged by how out of reach their skill level seems to be. So I try to share my bad drawings as well, and explain what I was trying to do. This feels exposed in a way, so perhaps it's not strange that I don't see many people doing this. If you do know any blogging artists that like to describe their creative process, I'd love to hear of them.

Overall, I'm super happy that I managed to draw so much this past year, and I think the drawing diaries have definitely helped to encourage me. After I became chronically ill in 2012, I've had to give up on so many things I loved to do. Because of that, it's extra precious to have rediscovered something that I can do no matter how I feel. Thanks, dear readers, for sticking with me even when not writing about gaming. I fear you have another year coming up to suffer through!


  1. It is been one year already?!? Whoa, time flies!

    Anyway, it has been interesting to follow these blog posts. I am pretty sure I said this before but I also like that you describe your process. I don't draw myself so this to me is pretty close to see how one draws and thinks about it.:)

    It also opened my eyes to the diversity of materials used to make a drawing. I mean, I knew there was a lot I just didn't have any idea of the specifics!

    I also totally agree it can be encouraging to others to show your works that doesn't turn out all that great. It is so easy for us to look at some finished work and think that the author is some kind of genius when in reality they had a long way of hard work and experimentation before they got to that point.

    I better stop before I ramble more. Looking forward to another year of drawing diaries. :)

    1. It's been great to have you there for the trip! I always love hearing your favourites and un-favourites. It makes me look at what I've made through someone else's eyes and I think that's a healthy thing to do.

      Like you, I'm pretty clueless about what's all out there, material wise! This past year, I've been looking more actively at other people's stuff, and trying to figure out how they made it if it's something I like. Sometimes, mostly if I know them by person, I've asked them what materials they used or how they gained this-or-that effect.

      I guess you can follow an art education and learn a lot more effectively. But I really enjoy figuring things out by myself bit by bit, just for fun. Finding a new technique that works for me makes me so happy and excited!

      So happy to hear you enjoy these entries and please never stop rambling. :)

  2. I'm just happy you're sharing your work with us. I really enjoy your art posts, and they remind me that --just like everything else-- succeeding at art takes work and persistence.

    1. It takes work for sure! But already after just one year of drawing more regularly I feel I've made real progress, even if it's just feeling more secure and less scared to start drawing. Thanks for sticking by!

  3. I enjoy your drawing diaries a lot. I love how you explain your process. It's something I need to work on being better about.

    Your experimentation has been inspiring for me to try some things too! So I appreciate that. I also like that you share even the things you're not happy with. That's something I also try to do that way people know how hard one has to work for a really nice piece at times.

    I look forward to see what the next year brings for you and art. I enjoy your journey!

    1. I'm not exaggerating when I say it's been so rewarding to have you around and to read your own drawing diaries! Your drawings and paintings often inspire me to try out something new, too, so it goes both ways. (Example coming up in my August diary, when I've finally caught up, heh.)

      To art buddies! *raises glass*

  4. I'm so happy you started sharing online! Looking forward to see what further art you post this year! :)

    1. Thanks, Kay! I always enjoy your art posts, too. :)

  5. I love that you're willing to share your drawings online. I can't draw worth a darn, so I find it inspiring. Not that I've really thought about it, but I didn't realize there were so many different mediums for drawing with. Do you find that one is 'easier' over another to work with?

    1. Cool that you enjoy them, even though you don't draw! I think everyone has their own comfort zones when it comes to different mediums, so that's a difficult question to tackle. But I do overall feel that there is some difference. For instance, professional markers are really popular for colouring right now. At the risk of insulting marker artists (absolutely not intended), this makes sense, because markers are easier to get immediate decent-looking pictures with compared to some other mediums, such as watercolour. Markers give off the expected colour every time (whereas with watercolour, the colour depends on how much water is on your brush, how you apply it and how you've mixed colours) and they are relatively easy to control (with watercolour, the water easily spreads further than the marker ink would if you aren't careful). Overall, I feel that watercolour has a bigger potential of variation, but it's a bigger and longer process to get everything out of it.

      I hope that makes any sense, and sorry for the wall of text! Also, again, I don't want to sound like one is superior over the other: both watercolour and professional markers have their own feel to them, and I use both depending on what I'm going for.


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