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<p class="mt-05e mb-15e ta-right c-ccc">Published by Dan on Jan 8, 2015</p>
<h1 class="center of-yh mb-1e"><a href="/living/learning-to-draw.html">Learning to Draw</a></h1>
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<p>After college I found myself with more free time than I needed, so I decided to learn to draw. Here's how I went about it along with a small gallery.</p>
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<a href="#why">Why?</a>
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<a href="#how">How?</a>
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<a href="#gallery">Gallery</a>
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<a href="#the-point">The Point</a>
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<h2 id="why"><a href="#why">Why?</a></h2>
<p>In a time before smart phones and social media, we were left to ourselves more often. I had a good job as a software developer, but being required to think about software 40hr/wk left me with little desire to focus on it outside of work, so I tried my hand at drawing.</p>
<p>Why drawing? I'm left-handed, and some theories predict that makes me apt to be <a href="http://psychology.about.com/od/cognitivepsychology/a/left-brain-right-brain.htm">right-brained</a> (creative, intuitive, and images over language) and personally I agree. While software may sound right-brained (logic, reason, critical thinking), it's appeal is creative: literally creating something out of nothing. I didn't understand the point until stumbling across <a href="http://www.paulgraham.com/hp.html">Paul Graham's "Hackers and Painters"</a> while in college studing Computer Science. "Hackers" doesn't refer to anything illegal but to tinkerers: people who toy with and create systems, testing their limits, improving them.</p>
<p>Half-baked psychological theories aside, I enjoy creating. Visual pursuits come easily, while writing is difficult. Drawing felt like the perfect outlet.</p>
<h2 id="how"><a href="#how">How?</a></h2>
<p>I remember drawing some (not much) in elementary school, but after that my proficiency at math, science, and sports kept me away from the arts, so how was I supposed to learn how to draw?</p>
<p>While I didn't possess an innate ability to draw (does anyone?), I have always been able to focus: remove everything but a single purpose from my mind for hours at a time. So after purchasing a pencil, an eraser, a ruler, a sketchpad, and two "learn to draw" books I focused on drawing. The books had several exercises:</p>
<ul>
<li><strong>Draw without looking down</strong> to help develop the mechanics of drawing without worrying about getting the picture right.</li>
<li><strong>Draw sections of the subject</strong> to help focus on individual lines instead of the subject as a whole.</li>
<li><strong>Draw the subject upside-down</strong> to help detach my perception of the subject and focus on individual parts.</li>
</ul>
<h2 id="gallery"><a href="#gallery">Gallery</a></h2>
<p>Over the course of several months (maybe a year, I honestly forget), I would pick a scene from a movie or a picture off the Internet and draw it. I never finished a drawing in one sitting, but would come back to it over the course of a week with a fresh perspective (do the eyes look right?!). My sketchpad slowly filled up. Here are some samples:</p>
<p><a href="/assets/living/learning-to-draw/kristen-a6a766158996d1f9319461256cc09399.jpg"><img src="/assets/living/learning-to-draw/thumbs/kristen-af9afb9b97a1c5218fcf339aa21eb14b.jpg" alt="Scarlet"></a></p>
<p><a href="/assets/living/learning-to-draw/scarlet-5f0fb2687228ae0de8ca619d691fd19b.jpg"><img src="/assets/living/learning-to-draw/thumbs/scarlet-07babf0270bf212c8c65406ba446d9eb.jpg" alt="Scarlet"></a></p>
<p><a href="/assets/living/learning-to-draw/sandra-d72c9e20aa5c3c5db965fdd21fe7c9e2.jpg"><img src="/assets/living/learning-to-draw/thumbs/sandra-afcea8edd33c5e5486ef5d2c3e9400b9.jpg" alt="Scarlet"></a></p>
<p><a href="/assets/living/learning-to-draw/child-06c8f4b3e2100fdc888648fe2c476735.jpg"><img src="/assets/living/learning-to-draw/thumbs/child-e4b2646776f2dae9b2fbedfa9f6d034c.jpg" alt="Scarlet"></a></p>
<p><a href="/assets/living/learning-to-draw/mandy-de8a041acf51b7ad5bf8251af86289ce.jpg"><img src="/assets/living/learning-to-draw/thumbs/mandy-6f97e2d790c848a6230e926b77ed0d0a.jpg" alt="Scarlet"></a></p>
<p><a href="/assets/living/learning-to-draw/hair-a57adced090c6dabed93ca54dcfc4cca.jpg"><img src="/assets/living/learning-to-draw/thumbs/hair-135c58f78062df0536e6acb24feb74c6.jpg" alt="Scarlet"></a></p>
<p><a href="/assets/living/learning-to-draw/shoulder-c51d276f924b8ff31209099e976f35fc.jpg"><img src="/assets/living/learning-to-draw/thumbs/shoulder-70fb609fe2795e4951b468e76574d7b6.jpg" alt="Scarlet"></a></p>
<p><a href="/assets/living/learning-to-draw/remember-053f6d8035838cf6ac6e451ad5fc96a6.jpg"><img src="/assets/living/learning-to-draw/thumbs/remember-73c6075a537261e46780b32740f0ebbe.jpg" alt="Scarlet"></a></p>
<p><a href="/assets/living/learning-to-draw/heart-8f1ac450050a404caa4e6bb5c2e96122.jpg"><img src="/assets/living/learning-to-draw/thumbs/heart-b38b878e9b743e5e15c56b87589837d6.jpg" alt="Scarlet"></a></p>
<p><a href="/assets/living/learning-to-draw/up-7d42be9283fd66bd818e6bb6a5dc6cd7.jpg"><img src="/assets/living/learning-to-draw/thumbs/up-2fd9ecc3dca70c8d2a71a8708fdc6ab1.jpg" alt="Scarlet"></a></p>
<p><a href="/assets/living/learning-to-draw/monica-295770db52b235f2a11f65dce2238153.jpg"><img src="/assets/living/learning-to-draw/thumbs/monica-944fcd80c92f830f9d5585d09a6d9519.jpg" alt="Scarlet"></a></p>
<h2 id="the-point"><a href="#the-point">The Point</a></h2>
<p>I eventually lost my drive to draw every day which quickly deteriorated into stopping altogether, but looking back I accomplished what I set out to do: <strong>draw something I loved looking at</strong>, which in my early twenties happened to be women. Shocking. I recently bought a new scanner, which (unlike my old one) could adequately digitize my drawings before time faded my old sketchpad.</p>
<p>Upon seeing the drawings, people's reaction was normally "you're so talented," gifted, lucky, or blessed. Those words are comfort for speaker: turning an earned skill into something God, nature, or chance gave me, so without being an ass, I try and explain that I was initially awful but gradually improved over time, lots of time.</p>
<p>Time spent in my alone apartment, not showing anything to anyone. In contrast, <a href="/living/the-communication-age.html">The Communication Age</a> tempts you to communicate the every step of development and creation instead of truly focusing on becoming better.</p>
<p class="alert alert-info center mt-4e">Why did my iPhone replace hobbies?</p><!-- post:content:end -->
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<h1 class="mt-0"><a title="Dan Cunning" class="fs-45 fw-normal shadow-silver" href="/">Dan Cunning</a></h1>
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<p class="underline-links">I'm a <a href="/ruby-on-rails/index.html">Ruby on Rails</a> contractor from Atlanta GA, focusing on simplicity and usability through solid design. <a class="nowrap" href="/dan-cunning.html">Read more »</a></p>
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