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Back to basics, help me draw

I was watching the Twitter at work recently and got wind that comic book artist Skottie Young was doing a live screencast of his sketching. I watched and listened for a little bit and realized that I really miss drawing. So this summer I’m going to try and jump back to basics with something I used to do all the time – and I’ll be needing your help.

I was talking with a co-worker about my drawing and he asked what my style was. I honestly replied, “I don’t know,” because it’s a) been so long since I’ve drawn anything, and b) I’m not sure that’s something any artist can answer themselves. I think a style is defined by what people think it is. But before I get too deep into art theory, here’s my plan.

I have a hard time just picking stuff out of thin air to draw. While everyone tells me how creative I am, I’m not good at coming up with one-off ideas by myself. I just need some little seed of motivation. Even just one word or concept is enough. So I’m turning to the Twitter for help.

I’m going to solicit words, items, topics, whatever from you all and I’ll pick one or two to use as the basis for a sketch. Simple as that. You can yell “apple,” or “train,” or “aliens,” or even “robotic nuns try to rob a stage coach” – I don’t care and it doesn’t really matter. I just need food for thought.

This isn’t some sort of “I’m so great I’ll draw for you,” type thing. I just need a jumping off point for a sketch. And I (re)learned from Skottie Young that not every drawing has to be some sort of masterpiece. It’s okay to just have a super doodle…and that’s what I’m aiming for, just a series of sketches to get me back into the fun of drawing.

When I was little I wanted to be a comic book artist. And while that chance may have passed me by, there’s no reason I can’t enjoy the fun of drawing.

Feel free to drop any help in the comments and stay on the Twitter for real-time action.


  1. JuanO JuanO June 15, 2009

    Man. I am the opposite. I have so many ideas, but can’t draw worth a damn. are you going to sketch with pencils then? Or in Photoshop. Either way, I got some ideas for ya.

  2. Renee Renee June 16, 2009

    Robots! You could even do a party bot illustration. Like use the partybot as a reference, but give it an illustrated flair.

    And as for the whole “style” question, I don’t get it, either. Especially since my “style” can change at the drop of a hat. When I was younger I was stuck in a generic “anime” style. Oye. Glad that’s over.

  3. Brian Brian June 16, 2009

    We’re talking pencils (or pen) here. I may scan into Photoshop to play with things, but I don’t have the equipment to draw into the PC.

    I so missed the anime train growing up. The only anime I ever watched was Akira and Ghost in the Shell. If I had to declare my style it would simply be “comic book style” since that’s what I copied growing up. But who knows now…we’ll see.

  4. Lindsey Lindsey June 16, 2009

    Draw me a mushroom cloud of yarn!

  5. Brian Brian June 16, 2009

    First drawing done!! Turned out WAY better than I could have hoped, and not bad for being away such a long time.

    Thanks Renee for the Partybot idea. It was right in front of me the whole time! Duh.

    I’ll be Twittering my lunchtime drawings and they’ll all end up in Flickr, so hope you keep checking them out.

    And a world ravaged by yarn will be a subject soon! :)

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