Friday, December 29

Sketch till it hurts, design till it works

I came up with an exercise today and noticed something interesting.

The exercise is simply looking up images on flickr and trying to copy them on paper. What's interesting is that I've noticed that when I draw with a reference I add a lot of detail in the beginning while sketching but then at some point I stop sketching and start to make design choices reducing the level of detail leaving me with a cartoony representation of what I was drawing. I've always assumed I was adding detail the more I drew and not the other way around. (I'm not sure the image posted here really reflects that but it is still the case)

The reason I find this significant is that I often think too much about what the finished result is going to look like and draw too stiff. It freaks me out thinking about it now because I should know about this since it's so obvious. It's even the first lesson in every book I've read on drawing but I keep forgetting it. It totally freaks me out.

In programing there is a saying that goes "Normalize until it hurts, de-normalize until it works". For me to remember how I want to be drawing from now on I'll "invent" the following saying: "Sketch till it hurts, design till it works". What this means is that I will try and draw loose sketches that I can then apply style rules to. I currently don't have that many style rules but I'm trying to translate my mannerisms into rules so that I truly can understand them and use them or discard them.

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