Why not digital?
Let me preface this by pointing out one thing again - I am a digital artist. All of the work I do professionally is digital. What I am saying here by no means suggests that you should stay away from digital media.
I'm saying that digital tools are not the best way to go through these lessons. Here's why.
- Depending on your device, drivers can be awful, and that can cause serious confusion for those who are new to drawing
Honestly this isn't as much of an issue with devices like the iPad Pro, but it's a HUGE problem when dealing with Wacom's tablet lines (Bamboo, Intuos, Intuos Pro, Cintiq, Mobile Studio Pro, etc.) and other tablet brands. Drivers can give you hell when it comes to the brush jittering at small movements. Really, any kind of technical glitch will add an extra layer of confusion between you and what you're learning - after all, that early on it's difficult to say whether or not the mistake you're making really is your fault, your device's fault, or the most likely option of a mix of the two. That is why I always insist people first do the exercises traditionally, where there is no extra layer of abstraction. Fully understand what you're meant to be aiming for and how it feels, then try it digitally. You'll be able to identify whether there is an added issue with the calibration of the device you're using, and you'll be able to move forward from there.
- Digital media leans in to one's natural impatience
We live in a world of immediacy. You want cat pictures, bam. You've got cat pictures. You want a 4K video? Here it is. Every single interaction with technology provides us with a response that is immediate, and if it fails to do so, we immediately get frustrated. We'll get disgruntled if a web page doesn't load in under a second. We don't have time to read, we want to watch and be told. We want pictures, sounds and EXPLOSIONS. And when we want to draw, we want to explode onto the canvas, sketching and painting furiously to have something presentable as quickly as possible. On top of this, the all-too-common trend of "speed painting", made popular on YouTube over the last decade has exacerbated this problem, making a lot of peoples' first exposure to concept art and illustration one of glamour and style.
This is the world we live in, and how we experience it. There's no room for patience, and unfortunately, patience is exactly what you're going to need in order to learn how to draw. It's not going to happen immediately, it's not going to be easy, and by the box it is going to be frustrating.
Even when you're conscious of all of this, it's difficult to force ourselves to stop and think. Not impossible by any stretch, and really that's one of the main things this course is meant to teach, but when one has trouble even noticing how the problem manifests in the first place, working around it is a complication that only gets in the way. One of the core principles of Drawabox is that every difficulty you face must serve a purpose. Every challenge must help you develop your skills more efficiently and more effectively. If it doesn't, it's just dead weight slowing you down. That's what digital tools are in this situation, in the context of someone just looking to learn how to draw. Dead. Weight.
I've witnessed countless students who fought to use their tablets and their software initially, develop a deep respect for every line and stroke that simply had not been there before, despite drawing digitally for months or years prior to that. Hell - I noticed that change in myself. With the physical ink in front of you, there comes an appreciation that feels so much less tangible when represented in pixels.