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9:29 PM, Sunday September 24th 2023

Oh sorry I didn't elaborate on the source of the pain. My best guess is that it's a combination of many factors, especially these:

1 - broke my left arm (around the elbow) as a kid and didn't have it in a cast so it's very crooked and although a specialist said it's just a cosmetic issue, I beg to differ because in some specific exercises/movements, it's not smooth or in the worst case I can't do the movement (I can't do push-ups, every other exercise is do-able except for this, it's like my left wrist/elbow just blocks the movement)

2 - as a teen I played a lot of volleyball for a couple years which is one of the worst sports regarding injuries, literally all of my colleagues had at least 1 long-term injury (hand/wrist/feet/ankle) so I'm surprised I don't have one but my fingers are significantly more crooked and it definitely strained my arms in general

3 - I've been playing on the guitar for over 10 years and during those 1st 8 years I spent all of my free time practicing, which is also a huge strain on the left hand, and after like 5 years the wrist pains started so this was probably the last straw lol

4 - Even though I started drawing seriously/more often only after the pain started, I have struggled with holding my pen wrong (as a kid I self-learned to hold it very tightly between my middle and ring finger) but thanks to taking it seriously and researching, I've learned to hold it in a more sustainable and efficient way (otherwise I wouldn't be able to control the pressure) so I don't think it's a factor anymore

Regarding what I use when drawing in various ways, I do both large and small (from 1:1 paper for figure drawing for uni up to A5 sketchbooks), use my whole arm (though with Drawabox I'm learning to use my whole arm for smaller scaled strokes and on a desktop instead of an easel for life drawing) up to the fingers, use the writing grip mostly and the overhand grip for larger/smoother lines or curves.

Oh we do have a powerball in the house, haven't used it yet but I'll give it a go to see if it adds more support! As for PC usage, I do spend a lot of time on it, but I've never had any issues so far, except for exam season where I'm writing a ton of notes or an essay/thesis for which I arm myself with multiple braces, definitely recommend if one can't exactly afford to rest, it's doable in the short term.

I only have a gel mousepad and rest my arms a lot as my chair's arm rests are at an ideal level when using a keyboard (in the under-the-desk drawer) but in the near future I'm definitely gonna buy a vertical mouse and I do dream of training my non-dominant hand to write and draw.

Thank you for all your points and tips, it's always a plus to know more and be more aware of things one already does.

4:56 PM, Tuesday October 10th 2023
edited at 4:57 PM, Oct 10th 2023

Wow, what an injurious past XD Sorry to hear about your broken arm. I also have a slightly crooked finger from volleyball. I really enjoy the overhand grip for drawing with pencil. Yay for the Powerball; I'm glad you have access to one.

You're welcome. I wish you the best going forward.

edited at 4:57 PM, Oct 10th 2023
9:47 AM, Saturday October 14th 2023

Right? xD And I'm lucky I have really fast reflexes otherwise it would be like 10x worst lol. Yayy welcome to the club of volleyball fingers!

I also love using the grip with charcoal and chalk, and I also have a really thick 8B pencil that's a great middle ground between a pencil and charcoal, I don't really use it nowadays but back when I was starting to draw seriously, it was an excellent tool for omitting the details and rather focusing on the essential features of a given reference, especially when unsharpened.

Btw I've been doing wrist/arm/body warmups and stretches before and after (and a few in the middle of) every drawing session for the past 3 weeks and it's helped me immensely, I can't recommend it enough!

Thank you and I wish you the same!

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Faber Castell PITT Artist Pens

Faber Castell PITT Artist Pens

Like the Staedtlers, these also come in a set of multiple weights - the ones we use are F. One useful thing in these sets however (if you can't find the pens individually) is that some of the sets come with a brush pen (the B size). These can be helpful in filling out big black areas.

Still, I'd recommend buying these in person if you can, at a proper art supply store. They'll generally let you buy them individually, and also test them out beforehand to weed out any duds.

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