|Drawing is bloody hard but also great fum|
Starting this process over a year ago I haven't eve scratched the surface of knowledge needed to become a proficient comic book artist. I am of course referring to creating a whole comic book, not just the inking or colouring or lettering, everything.
Approaching this in sizable chunks I decided to start where I think is most appropriate, at the start. Drawing.
I'm not the best artist, thanks in part to my high school art teacher saying i was shit, but I always enjoyed it. Digging into it I don't think I ever really appreciated how much goes into drawing. Form, positioning, perspective and most importantly expression all make up a good drawing. I bought books and started my long journey to having something that didn't resemble a stick figure.
But I wasn't getting anywhere. I was drawing lots yes, but it was starting to be grind. My savior was art class. Here was a bunch of people from all walks of life who got together because of a love of creating something, even if it did look like a pile of poo. The environment was friendly and supportive, and I loved it.
Being the crappy artist I was compelled to a class that had something along the lines of if you can write your name you can draw. Sweet I thought i can most of the time read my own hand writing, other ppl have trouble though. Off to school with a nervous smile I went.
Art shops are foreign places to me. I would feel more comfortable in a mechanics shop talking about cars and I know nothing about how they work (something I would like to change). Anyway here i was talking about paper texture and thickness and all the different pencils and what not you could buy. Sweet I thought I will buy heaps of gear like the pros have and in no time i'll be pro.
Unfortunately drawing skill doesn't level up like in video games. You can't buy a new pen and go from stick figures to something so expressive it makes you laugh or cry. It just makes your stick figures look better.
Technique I thought, knowledge is the answer. So i delved into finding as many art books as I could, to make my nose look like a nose and my eyes not completely soulless. Coming from a technical background in engineering my brain told me the way to solve problems was through understanding how something worked by breaking it down into parts.
The problem with this idea is that the art doesn't work like that. I had forgotten that part that art is expressive and emotive. I was grinding my way through art books drawing everything in them thinking it would make me better. Yes it made me better at drawing batman in a specific pose, but what happened if i wanted to move his arm a bit, or change his pose. I was buggered.
Taking a couple of days off I rediscovered why I enjoyed drawing and particularly why I'm drawn to create my own graphics novel, even if my mum and close friends are the only ones to read it, because I love storytelling and world creating. Just grabbing a pen and paper and drawing something that represents something is great fun even if most of the time it looks nothing like the original form.
I now believe learning to draw is as much about the process of training your hand and brain as it is about feeling what you are drawing, connecting with it emotionally. That sounds wishy washy but drawings are infinitely better when your heart is in the drawing.
Wearing your heart on the page is a hard ask but it is worth it for the end results.