Challenge Yourself Daily
The other day, my son was watching Teen Titans Go on Cartoon Network as I sat in the couch working on my laptop. Little did I know I was about to learn some drawing tips from his TV show. But as I worked, I saw a guy come across the television screen. I mean a real guy, not one of the cartoons. So, I thought it was a commercial break but it wasn’t.
The guy was Chris Battle, the Character Designer for the cartoons – Teen Titans Go. He was showing the kids how he draws the cartoon characters in the show. At the end of his demo, he had three drawing tips for the kids on how to improve their drawing skills.
I wasn’t really paying attention to the show because I was working on my laptop. But when I heard him go through his drawing tips, that’s when I raised up my head and asked my son to rewind the television. I wanted to hear the drawing tips again. Because I thought they were great tips for all ages.
Chris Battle’s Drawing Tips
You can actually listen to him explain it here in this video. Start at the 1:23 – minute mark, if you aren’t interested in watching him draw his cartoons.
I made my son rewind and then play that clip several times. Because I wanted to write down both the drawing tips and the name of the character designer – Chris Battle.
But what I found really fascinating about his drawing tips was point number 2: –
Draw Things That Are Harder for You.
That certainly piqued my interest. I know the importance of challenging myself beyond my abilities. That’s why I took on my drawing with thread challenge.
But sometimes, knowing something doesn’t mean you always do it. Thus, every so often, we need to be reminded of what is important. And that’s what these drawing tips did for me.
In recent weeks, I’ve gone back to sketching regularly again. Yay!!! So, I’m doing what Chis Battle says in #1 of his drawing tips – Never stop drawing. Check.
And I’m really loving drawing every day. I doodle simple shapes and make random marks most of the time. So, #3 of his drawing tips is also checked off for me.
But let’s take a closer look at drawing tip #2.
Draw things that are harder for you.
I’m not doing that enough.
3 Levels of Difficulty in my Sketching
Without having to think, I know off the top of my head what’s easiest for me to draw – needle doodles. I’ve drawn them for so long that I can do them with my eyes closed. Well, maybe not quite. But you get what I mean.
When I get tired of staring at a computer screen, I pick up my sketchbook and doodle. That’s how often I doodle. So it’s the easiest for me to do.
Next, to that, I find my abstract loopy loops more challenging. I love to do them but they’re not as easy as my needle doodles. It takes me some time to create a balanced composition. If I want to be intentional about drawing, I spend time creating loopy loops.
The next in difficulty are realistic drawings. I love to draw architecture, like the house I sketched last week and also, I like to draw the human hands. These two are really hard for me. And so, they give me the greatest satisfaction when I complete one of those drawings.
Do I do draw them enough? No!!! Why? Because they’re the hardest for me to draw.
After watching Chis Battle talk about his 3 drawing tips, I looked through my sketchbook (I didn’t need to look to know, but I did all the same) and I knew I should start drawing more buildings and hands.
I know the beginning of everything is hard. But it gets better with practice.
There are many reasons to challenge yourself daily. One of them being if you don’t challenge yourself you’ll not scratch the surface of what you’re capable of.
Three or four years ago, I didn’t know I could draw anything at all- not even needle doodles, loopy loops, let alone buildings and human hands. If after a few years of consistent sketchbook practice I can draw needle doodles and loopy loops so well, what will I be able to do if I challenged myself to practice drawing architecture and hands?
What will you be able to create if you challenged yourself daily?
When was the last time you checked to see if you’re challenging yourself enough? Let’s talk about it.
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