Having a tough time abiding to that 50/50 rule.

1:54 AM, Tuesday September 22nd 2020

I have been on drawabox for a few months and I'm on lesson 4 right now, but as the title implies I havent really been following the 50/50 rule. And by not really following, I basically mean I havent been following. The amount of stuff I've drawn unrelated to drawabox is absolutely dwarved by the amount I have. In the end I feel that it is because I just enjoy seeing the improvements I make by doing coursework rather than seeing passive improvement by drawing random other things. If I try to sit down and draw for reasons unrelated to drawabox, I usually go through the following -

1 - Okay I'll use this as reference. This is something I would like to draw.

2 - I know that a constructional approach would be good for getting this done, so let me try.

3 - Okay, I have an idea of what kind of shapes and perspective I need to use, let me put it down.

4 - It's down on the paper and it seems a bit.... off, but Ill keep going.

And it usually breaks down at around step 4+ and I just kinda don't feel like doing it anymore.

Most of the time I feel like I pick a reference out of my weight class, and I just feel either discouraged or overwhelmed and I kinda just stop. That very small amount of non-drawabox work is basically entirely unfinished because of this.

I enjoy doing the drawabox assignments more just because I can SEE the improvement, and that improvement drives me forward. When I try to apply what I have learned so far to references like cars for example, I fall short because it is a complex subject I havent gotten up to. The difference between my first drawings in lesson 3 and the latest is MASSIVE and that keeps me going.

Should I just keep trying to draw what I "want" and push through, or should i pick something that I can apply my lessons to like plants instead?

4 users agree
2:47 PM, Tuesday September 22nd 2020
edited at 3:50 PM, Sep 22nd 2020

When you draw for fun, improvement is not your goal. If you're applying your lessons or looking for a challenge, you're in your study/focus zone.

Improving through hard work is great and leads to long lasting gratification. But drawing for fun nurtures your soul, keeps your inner child alive and will sustain you through the discouragement that we inevitably face from time to time.

Many of us have to re-learn how to draw for fun. And it's an exciting discovery, but it takes time and probably you will have to force yourself to do it for a while before it takes place happily in your routine.

edited at 3:50 PM, Sep 22nd 2020
12:18 AM, Wednesday September 23rd 2020

You are probably right. I plan on just forcing myself to do it and I'm sure I'll get past it. I can't even remember the last time I drew for fun, all I can remember is trying to draw to capture on paper what I want to capture, as accurately as possible so I'll just have to keep at it.

1 users agree
6:32 PM, Tuesday September 22nd 2020

I think the 50/50 rule applies to what makes you happy to draw. If drawing drawabox exercises make you happy then more power to you, draw those.

For most people however, the assignments take a lot of focus and mindful practice and its very easy to get burned out on the program. I have been burnt out twice on this program and its very much due to just grinding out one homework after another.

However, I think its very important to draw things you suck at. There is a reason it looks wrong and you need to analyze it to see what your are messing up so that you can fix it. Don't be afraid to draw bad drawings. Bad drawings lead to good ones.

10:10 PM, Tuesday September 22nd 2020

The first part of what you've said there is actually addressed in the 50% Rule page more specifically, this part:

If you catch yourself thinking, "oh but I'm having fun just drawing lines and boxes," then you're missing the point.

Even if you're enjoying doing the exercises, it's important to branch out and draw for the sake of it - oftentimes the concepts you're learning will sneak in there without you being aware of it. Otherwise you end up in a situation where you have amazing technical skills but no understanding of how to apply them to anything you actually want to draw.

1 users agree
8:01 PM, Tuesday September 22nd 2020

What are your art ambitions? Drawabox is greater for getting those technical skills but, IMO, not really what art is about. Art needs more creativity and originality etc.

Perhaps you are encountering resistance because the idea of doing something more expressive is a bit scary. I have suffered from this but you have to push through.

Perhaps just start doing some of the many other art tutorials and courses as an alternative. I am loving doing some of Aaron Blaise's animal tutorials for example. If you only learn from one source, particularly such a technical one, it can really box (:-) you in creatively.

My 2p worth.

12:10 AM, Wednesday September 23rd 2020

What are my ambitions?

That is a suprisingly hard question to answer now that I think about it. I guess in the end my goal is to get to the point where I can draw illustration pieces of things I either like or things I come up with but as for greater ambitions I'm not really sure. I just graduated college with a bachelor's degree in IT, so my actual experience is low and I kind of always thought being able to draw was cool but I never went into it all that hard. My last two semesters in college I kind of decided to focus on that more any put more energy into learning it. I guess I am doing it to improve and make things I would like to make. I do have that tiny voice in my head whispering that maybe if I get good enough I could consider a possible career change/side job but for sure my main ambition would be personal pursuit I guess.

11:39 AM, Wednesday September 23rd 2020

I suspect that's why you struggle with the other 50% then.

TBH you are clearly still young so it's actually quite good to be picking up these skills as they will stand you in good stead ie prepared for opportunities or inspiration should they arise. It just makes that other 50% more of a struggle for the time being. Wouldn't worry about it, just know that there is one thing following a rather technical course and another trying to do something original. The latter is much harder for most.

0 users agree
3:45 PM, Tuesday September 29th 2020
edited at 3:46 PM, Sep 29th 2020

Most of the time I feel like I pick a reference out of my weight class, and I just feel either discouraged or overwhelmed and I kinda just stop. That very small amount of non-drawabox work is basically entirely unfinished because of this.

What worked for me was to sketch and think about the drawing as sketch. You are not trying to create something valuable, you are just sketching a thing. It takes pressure off. Or the goal is to try/learn one specific thing, like a shadow or perspective. You end up with good shadow and bad perspective, but that is ok because goal was shadow and you cant be drawing whole day anyway.

The other thing that worked for me was to have a sketch done every day (I use sketch a day app for that). And you want it done to keep streak and to post it, but real life is pretty often preventing you to do something really good. So over time you become comfortable with 30 second sketch done, finished and posted. You get used to it, you stop worrying and you end up sketching/drawing more.

edited at 3:46 PM, Sep 29th 2020
0 users agree
8:14 PM, Tuesday September 22nd 2020

Start small and keep in mind that a lot of times, especially when it's drawing for fun, it's Effort over Outcome. Even if it doesn't turn out like you wanted, you tried and you can learn from it for next time. Was it fun to do? Ask yourself this. We judge our finished pieces, but rarely reflect on the experience of actually drawing the thing. To keep from getting too discouraged, maybe isolate one area and start there. I do timed drawing sessions and that helps me. I don't know what I'm going to draw when I start, but I keep reference images on my phone to draw from and for 30 min I'm drawing something. It isn't always great, but I keep trying.

0 users agree
11:25 PM, Tuesday September 22nd 2020

As someone whos only done lesson 1 and the 250 box v=challenge, slowly over time, using them also as general excoricises for the day along with some gesture drawings, some things as references, ive found, in my experience, drawing doodles without references gives that 'middle ground' of having some improvment, knowing how your subject works, while generally, more importatnyl, being able to have fun and be creative. of course thats a goal for me, whats helped is 'letting loose' and just jotting down, basically whatever, no references, not much thought either, or effort, just as a means of relaxing, it looks terrible most of the time, but thats fine. faling first is good, and this case, your not really attempting to learn much if anything from doing low effort doodles, your main goal is to have fun, and, well, let it be as chaotic as it gets.

some pointers ive found that helped me, might help you, is when your doing 'chill' doodles, is you dont have to show them off, even to yourself. they can be as silly and broken as they may end up being

if your able to do some light construction without reference, try to find a character, or better yet, create a chracter/s thats both relatively easy to draw, while also fun to do so. if it's one someone else has, its best to ask permission

its also best to note that improvment generally comes with time. and as meta points out, the things your learn will start to seep in to even just your doodles overtime. improvment isnt about so much just impressing people, as its more of a thing that comes after learning some things and experimenting with those things for the hell of it.

12:15 AM, Wednesday September 23rd 2020
edited at 12:15 AM, Sep 23rd 2020

Thats the funny thing though, ever since I started drawabox my outlook on how to approach drawing has changed completely, and I am having a hard time putting it to the side to use passively. Back when I tried to draw things for the hell of it, I would go with the idea that it's all just lines, and I would basically look at reference, trace line, repeat with no consideration of 3d space.

Now when I see a reference the first thing that comes to my mind is breaking it into simple shapes, and attempting to place those shapes down. It is an active decision, rather than a passive one. I plan on trying to just power through it though, rather than stopping when I'm feeling discouraged.

edited at 12:15 AM, Sep 23rd 2020
12:31 AM, Wednesday September 23rd 2020

im starting to get 3d space a little bit myself, which helps with understanding references a little, i expect it to reflect on gesture/figure drawings eventually sometime as well. i suppose my advice is still the same, in drawing things with less of a worry on how the results will be in the end, unless maybe its a piece you want to submit somewhere, though even then, especially in the communities im in, can be doodles people put effory into while they dont like them too much.

i would probably try to study storke directions and techniques from some artists as well, and mix and match for experimentations sake, but, that could just be me XD

0 users agree
8:26 PM, Sunday September 27th 2020

The lessons you have learned from drawabox are applicable to most of the things you will be drawing away from the lessons. If you're not struggling, then you're not learning. Even though you might not like the results of your own drawings, keep pushing through. It doesn't look like the reference? Critique it, then draw it again.

What you can do is purchase another sketchbook entirely for completed drawings. This will encourage you to expand your breadth and possibly help you from burnout which can happen if you strictly only do drawabox lessons.

In short, yes, push through. Draw whatever you feel motivated to do on the other 50. Just try to complete a sketch once in a while so you can develop your skills. Don't be too hard on yourself.

1:19 AM, Monday September 28th 2020

Since I put the post up I have started to do some random drawings, although I do all drawabox work on printer paper, and everything else digitally, mainly because I am trying to learn the program I am using, that should be fine no?

4:38 PM, Wednesday September 30th 2020

Yeah, that's no problem! As long as you find it enjoyable and not difficult to transition between the two.

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