Friday, 5 August 2016

Drawing diary: July

Drawing for me is not just about skill, it's also a psychological challenge of sorts. You never know exactly what the result will be beforehand. It is addictive, yet damn scary. Confession time: there's always a barrier I need to pass before trying something new, even though I know I'm just drawing for my eyes only and nobody else would care if the result sucks. In July, I tried not to be a whimp and drew a lot of things just for the heck of it.

Of course I'm screwed, because I'm going to post them here for everyone to see even if I'm ashamed of the result myself! With my degree of perfectionism, I wouldn't end up posting anything otherwise. And it's always interesting to read you guys loving the things I hate, and vise versa.

Me surrounded with nerdy fandoms

I read a lot of nerdy lifestyle blogs with amazing website designs that make me jelly. One trend I've seen is people depicting themselves with all the stuff they like - which looks really cute. So I had to give it a try myself. This is a very uncharacteristic Rav drawing: it's way too cute. So while I on the one hand recognize myself in this, I on the other hand don't, because it's more girly than I am.

I also really dislike the way I draw people. This drawing made me work on that later in the month.

This is the atrium of Het Bushuis, a building of the university of Amsterdam. I had to wait here for half an hour and fell in love with the gorgeous lamp that hang on the ceiling. It sure kept me busy during the wait. 


My recent fondness of Pokémon Go has left me with a picture problem: I don't have good-looking screenshots for my blog posts. So I've started drawing illustrations for my posts instead. 

For these ringing pokémon I tried something new: intuitive drawing with watercolour paint and ink. Each drawing only took me 15 minutes and was a lot of fun to do, but next time I should apply the ink after the water colour paint and not the other way around. There's too much blending going on this way, making the pictures look untidy.

I used these for my post Pokémon, mobile phones and hype resistance.

Above the original drawing;
below it is adapted with pokémon cut out from Pokémon Go screenshots

My latest Pokémon Go post was about playing with a chronic illness and once again I was in need of an illustration. I didn't want to go for a wheelchair, because it's a cliché and I only very rarely use one. One of the problems with chronic fatigue and pain is that it is invisible; people I meet see a healthy young woman - so the picture needed to reflect this. Instead I went with my favourite place to re-energize: my bed. Indeed, I've caught a lot of cool pokémon from it.

I used this drawing for my recent post Playing Pokémon Go when chronically ill.

Drawing people

As you all know, I suck at drawing people, so I gave myself a good kick in the butt to give it a try. My hope is that if I just keep practicing, I'll get it right at some point. That's how it works, right? ...right?

I had absolutely no clue how to start. I've tried following the tips of drawing books in the past, but the results were always disastrous. So I decided to look at the work of Shorelle, who's character drawings I absolutely adore. (She loves drawing Star Wars characters and has a shop that makes you want to instantly buyout everything!)

I'm really happy with the left character that I drew first, but it is very much her style. After that I tried to more of my own thing for Anna of Frozen. Somehow I got in trouble with the eyes, though. Anna turned out a bit too cute and creepy at the same time (yes, I'm just that talented at screwing up portraits).

Finally, I drew this portrait of Elsa from Frozen for a friend who is absolutely crazy about Disney and had her birthday this month. I used markers, fineliners, coloured pencils and, of course, a silver glitter pen for this one. The result is not really my style, but it is very Disney and luckily at least my friend was very happy with it!

Kudos to Imaginary Karin for the tip of using coloured pencils to apply subtle shading to marker drawings. I don't have that many different markers, but my pencil collection is huge. It did wonders making Elsa appear a little less flat.

Overall, I did a lot of different things in July. I'm particularly happy with managing acceptable illustrations for my blog posts and having kept up with drawing regularly for this long.

As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts. I learn from it every time.


  1. Pretty good drawings!

    From your drawing that lamp in the Het Bushuis drawing must be something really fancy!

    The first one is pretty good too. The one for the Pokemon Go when Chronically ill is probably my favorite though. I really like the stylized girl in that drawing. The pokemon additions later make it feel perfect for a post about the game.

    And I can relate in a way. My Generally Anxiety Disorder also makes me look like I am a healthy person, without any problems whatsoever. It is so bad that some times even I don't notice I am anxious and starting to think irrationally. The physical symptoms don't help much either since it is usually excessive sweating. So besides that being embarrassing people tend to think it is due to other reasons. -_- /whine

    1. That's my own personal favourite as well! I don't really like my Bushuis drawing, but it reminds me of Amsterdam, which is nice. It's so odd, when I was living there I missed nature - I was so sick of all the exhaust fumes - but now I live in a village I miss the city. /Sigh

      The lamp was really impressive in reality, indeed. It wouldn't surprise me if it was designed especially for that space.

      And that's no whining. It just can be hard when people have no clue what's going on. Especially in your case, in which I imagine having to explain it will only make it worse. /hug

  2. I love these posts so much Rav! And I am a big fan of using colored pencils to add depth to marker can add so much dimension.

    1. Thank you! And I had no idea you did that, too. I was so surprised with how well it blended. You really cannot tell if you don't know. Will definitely try this more in the future.

  3. Love the Bushuis drawing, it feels so serene and calm.

    In the one of you lying on the bed, I only just noticed that you drew yourself in a dress with pokeballs on it! Do you actually own one like that? :D

    I think Anna came out very well, I immediately recognised her when I scrolled down.

    Something about Elsa's nose seems slightly off, though I can't quite put my finger on it (I was never very good with noses myself). Maybe the shading should be under or on the side of the nose instead of on its tip?

    1. I WISH! I was just drawing randomly without example, so when I drew the dress I thought I could make it even more poké themed this way. It was a bit boring without.

      And noses are hard! It wouldn't have occurred to me to make the nose slightly darker myself, but it's a Shorelle thing and I wanted to see how it would turn out. It works a bit better for the pencil sketches than the marker one, I think. But it could also just be the result of me being much better acquainted with pencils. I've only been trying out markers since last month, after all, and although it worked out well with the landscapes (drawing after reality comes more naturally to me than making things up out of the blue) it really shows with this subject.

  4. All I can say is that I wish I had only some of your talent for drawing. (You're really good!)

  5. I think your drawings are great :)


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