View Full Version : My technical skills are inhibiting my creative learning

10 October 2011, 05:12 PM
Unfortunately, I am 20 years old and am having a lot of trouble with my technical drawing skills/hand-eye coordination. I have had trouble with my handwriting since I was a child and this never progressed. I was cute and excelled past other students, so teachers didn't find it to be an issue and it caused me to hinder my ability to write and use a pencil correctly.

I find my handwriting is very linked to my drawing ability. When I write, I tend to make small illegible scribbles that are really hard to read for myself and others. When I draw, I tend to make many smaller strokes, and like my handwriting, it is not confident and are not controlled. I have included images of my handwriting and my sketch that were written/drawn before this thread was created.

Usually I am fluid with my wrist, but I find when I lock it in place, my handwriting and drawing technical skills improve. I am unsure if this is me using a handicap or should be used to better myself. I don't know if I should print handwriting booklets and re-learn how to write or if I shouldn't worry about it. I have been told countless times to "just draw" but if I am not practicing correctly, I am not learning anything useful. Please help me.

10 October 2011, 02:22 AM
I have been reading Kimon Nicolaides' book "How to draw naturally."

I myself always made really awkward sketches that impatiently tried to get to the crux of a form without understanding the various shapes that compose a human one.

While Nicolaides' suggests a ton of time doing these sketches, you shouldnt be discouraged.

People do all sorts of scribbles, and then they cleanup. Rome wasn't built in a day. That said, I'm trying Shamus Culhane's advice of drawing one pose for one hour and doing as many drawings as possible in that hour. My biggest challenge right now is actually drawing the sketch he has laid out, getting the pose right, and drawing each one in the 1 minute deadline!

10 October 2011, 02:56 AM
I don't believe I am ready to tackle anatomy. I once thought anatomy was my problem and I worked to fix it, but I had no foundation. The foundation is what I am trying to build upon. Learning values has been a recent project for me and I'm getting the hang of it. My most basic foundation though, is still lacking! It takes me countless strokes to obtain something I can see but cannot express with few strokes. Perhaps I am looking for "stroke economy?"

Would you recommend the book "How to draw naturally?"

I have included a value study I was doing but did not finish.

10 October 2011, 03:12 AM
I recently had a student ask a very similar question, and I'll share my reply to him with you:

"I'll tell you how I got over it when I had the same problem during the earlier stages of my artistic development. It's not just one thing--it's a combination of different things.

1) I forced myself to draw with ball point pens and ink pens in my sketchbook. I also forced myself to draw one line only for everything, instead of scratching over the same line over and over with chicken scratches. If I was drawing something I wasn't confident about, I would lightly sketch it out in pencil first, and then "ink" the drawing with ball point pen or ink pen.

2) I was a comic book artist, and I had t learn how to draw cleanly and also learn how to be an inker. Doing comics professionally is hardcore training that stays with you forever--it becomes a part of you.

3) Do drilling exercises that train your hand to be steady, fluid, precise, and expressive. I practiced on pages and pages of nothing but feathering lines, controlling spacing of my hatching, drawing strokes in directions that's difficult and unnatural instead of allowing myself to rotate the canvas, drawing fluid and expressive lines of various curvatures (very helpful for hair and flowing clothing), controlling my repeated hatching from thick to thin lines, and so on. It's a lot like grueling physical training for soldiers, dancers, and musicians, but for artists.

It was the combination of those things that vastly improved my confidence in line quality and general technical skills in drawing."

I also think in your case, since handwriting is a problem, learning calligraphy will help a lot.

10 October 2011, 03:38 AM
Thank you very much Lunatique. I enjoy the knowledge you share with everyone on these forums. I will certainly fill my sketchbook with "drilling exercises", and then try to work them into practical use. I have also had interest in calligraphy and I do feel it may be a tangent to help with my problems. I try to do a lot of gesture drawings to loosen up and use broader strokes, but the tendency to revert becomes too strong at times. Thank you again, I will certainly try to improve using this information.

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