I want to make a post about my (and countless others) probably worst struggle when it comes to learning to draw: having a prominent analytical bias. It's when you get anxiety wondering where to start or how and begin seeking out tutorials following some stupid step by step 'draw what I'm drawing' video when in reality you aren't really learning how to draw whatever it is.
The step above that crap is what I was doing for a while. I got a load of references of pony drawing tutorials and would have my eyes 50% of the time on my screen and 50% on my other with the reference carefully trying to make sure I get it to look right. I'd constantly erase and re-draw lines and end up spending an hour getting one mediocre replication that didn't look natural from the constant erasing and touching up. I did start putting the references aside and spent more time on getting heads done from memory, but because I was simply drawing what I saw, it was hard for my brain to make the connections to visualize the head in a three-dimensional way and treat it like a three-dimensional object. Yeah I was still improving and making some level of understanding, but it was slow and very unwanted. I even knew from watching a pile of tutorials and tips from artists that drawing more objects rather than trying to touch one up is ideal, but the way my head is wired up I slowed down on following that guideline and went back to wasting time trying to make one single sketch look decent.
It's kind of funny. The time I started seeing real improvement in my pones was when I was practicing loads of circles, squares in perspective, and ellipses. Learning to draw objects in perspective and doing consistent training to get comfortable with my writing tools helped me improve faster then any amount of attempts at drawing them using reference. It's because of that learning to draw what you see stuff I was mentioning earlier. They key to improving isn't in drawing a perfect eye ear hair or whatever using references and guides. Rather it's understanding the shape of what you're drawing and drawing that shape over and over from different angles until you can start recreating that object from any angle. That's when you truly know
how to draw it.
I've taken a step back and I'm going to crack down on on making sure I don't spend too long on any sketch. I'm trying to think if I should set a timer or something to get the habit down so I don't start slipping back into bad ones. Speaking of bad habits, I'm going to stop trying to be careful about my strokes during sketches. I'm going back to circle practice and I'm going to make sure I don't draw each circle with one line. I want a nice loosey goosey approach when it comes to sketching. It's hard to describe, but getting messy and having lots of small stray lines around what I'm drawing helps me understand how something should look, even if the line that helped make that connection was belonging to a different part of the drawing. It's like cloud-gazing and trying to decipher what clouds look similar to objects we know of. Having entropy in the mix naturally pings your brain to start making connections or something.
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