Balancing exercises with drawing for fun

10:19 PM, Thursday August 6th 2020


So, I am in the middle of the 250 boxes challenge and I am trying to also spend my time drawing anything just for the sake of it, as suggested.

What is kinda of annoying me is that while I can already see some improvement on my boxes, it has been really hard to relate what i've learned with any other drawings I do. It's as if my brain has two separate regions labeled "drawing for fun" and "drawabox" which are mutually exclusive...

Today I started thinking that it may be because most of the non-drawabox drawings I've been doing tend to be more stylized things, such as maps or little icons.

Then, I got curious and decided to come here and ask: what you guys usually draw besides the lessons? And did you ever had a clicking moment when you looked at your drawing and thought "now this is better"? Or maybe it's one of those situations where you only perceive that you improved when stopping and looking back...?

Thanks :)

3 users agree
5:20 PM, Friday August 7th 2020

I'm currently doing Lesson 1 stuff here and also looking at perspective tutorials on youtube and such, and I've found that even when I sit down with the intent to draw for fun, I often end up doing boxy stuff, and in perspective! Little houses, furniture, crystals and so on.

Part of it is just that being the track my brain is on, and part the fact that my practice makes me better at such things than I am at other areas of drawing, and, well, everyone likes to feel accomplished don't they? (In my case I'm doing it deliberately at least some of the time, letting myself stay in or at least close to my comfort zone during "free drawing time" so I don't get discouraged, which is otherwise easy for me I'm afraid.)

2:26 PM, Saturday August 8th 2020

Yeah, although I recognize the importance of failure in any kind of learning process, it is always good to have something to be proud of. In my case, it really helps me to keep going. Especially if it is some totally unknown area (like drawing is for me).

I will definitely follow the advice about drawing boxy stuff! Maybe even trying to sketch some cathedrals or castles, who knows...

2 users agree
11:15 PM, Thursday August 6th 2020


Along with the lesson I follow other lessons (digital painting, gesture drawing). At first, like you, I didn't see any links between drawabox and my other drawings/paintings.

Then I started the construction chapters (lesson 3+) and honestly all those boxes aren't wasted. I used to draw dragons only on the side and really flat, the only thing that gave them a big of form is a bit of shading but it wasn't enough. Now I can combine a bit of gesture drawing (humans) and drawabox construction to draw dragons not only in other positions, but also from imagination. They aren't the best out there, but drawing branches and flower stems translated into drawing dragon necks in 3D space. (I am just starting animals right now).

Honestly I didn't draw much for fun for a while but after I started the construction method it helped me draw other things from observation. I am planning on doing that a lot to fill a visual library.

Have fun!

2:13 PM, Saturday August 8th 2020

I hope to soon be able to also do this link myself! Maybe from lesson 3 onwards, the stuff starts being less abstract (not that I'm complaining, I'm all on for abstraction... maybe even too much) and begins to be easier to apply.

Thinking to myself, maybe the problem I am having is that it is easier for me to draw the boxes than to draw any other stuff that I want...

4:15 PM, Sunday August 9th 2020

Yes well everything you want to draw is probably more complex than a box, but don't worry it will come with the constructions and simplifications method, baby steps to giant strides!

1 users agree
12:38 AM, Friday August 7th 2020

I have definitely seen the skills practiced here merge into my general drawing. Particularly drawing freely from the shoulder and thinking 3D not 2D when putting down lines. The 250 box challenge is quite early in the process.

In Becca Rand's review she decribes it as the wax on/wax off training. It's building the patterns in your brain. At some point you will find yourself applying them without thinking.

2:16 PM, Saturday August 8th 2020

And once again in my life I'm recalled of Mr. Miyagi's wise words!

Thanks for the video, she made a really nice review and the before/after parts really help with keeping motivated.

1 users agree
6:40 AM, Tuesday August 11th 2020

Heoo Algebrartist,

I would say that you should try to apply the things you learn with your spare time drawings.

For example if I'm learning about 1-point perspective in my spare time I would try to do stylized barrel or chest in 1-point perspective.

For me 250 box challenge helped me to visualize boxes in different rotations. Once you have box in

certain position and rotation you can begin to construct things inside of that box (or outside), for example that barrel.

I think this video should help:

What I draw varies a lot. It could be everyday objects, animals, landscapes etc.

I've had that clicking moment when I have drawn for example pine tree multiple times and then I've compare the latter one to the first one that I've drawn. I try to track my process by comparing my more recent work to my older ones.

For this I'd recommend to watch this video:

Hopefully this helped :)

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