Drawing – Week #2

Hi all!

The second week of the #aprilDrawing challenge was more exciting!!!. Perspective and still life are the main areas covered in it, and if you need extra motivation, the YouTube Channels that I follow will do the trick.

(This is the link to Week #1, in case you missed it.)

Perspective

What’s the whole point of Perspective? Simply put: Perspective will help you to represent three-dimensional images (real life) on a two-dimensional plane (your sketchbook).

A key concept related to Perspective that must be understood is Vanishing Point. This is the spot on the horizon line that helps to create the three-dimensional effect because this is the point where apparently parallel lines in the drawing will converge.

Three perspective types  were covered over the week:

  • One Point Perspective: The simplest way to represent perspective because it uses one single Vanishing Point. In the example above, the house and the barn are drawn using lines that if extended, reach the single Vanishing Point.
  • Two Point Perspective: In this case, two Vanishing Points are used on the horizon line. The further they are from each other, the better. Personally, I liked this one more than the previous one because it’s more realistic, but at the same time, it’s a little more complex to represent, especially when shadowing is mandatory (that’s most of the time if you want to become good at drawing).
  • Three Point Perspective: This one uses two Vanishing Points as in the previous type, and a third point above or below of the horizon line. This is the perspective that you get when you stand at the front gate of a building and look up. I learned that you can use it to exaggerate objects, for example, a haunted-house entrance.

Even though I exercised the three of them, it feels like I need to practice more to master perspective. #mentalReminder.

Perspective Tip: Rule of 60%

The Rule of 60% is something that I learned in my Udemy Drawing class and that is extremely important to follow in order to make your drawing more realistic.

It says: measure the distance between your two horizontal Vanishing Points and calculate what’s 60% of that measurement (let’s say that the distance is 10 inches, therefore, the 60% is 6in). Then, find the middle between those two points and mark what represents half of your 60% to the left and the other half to the right (considering 6in your 60%, that would be 3in each side). Do the same above and below your horizontal line and you’ll have defined a rectangle (or square). That’s where you want to draw your objects to make them feel proportionate to the perspective. Otherwise, they may look less realistic.

Still Life

Drawing from real life? Now we’re talking! 🙂

The best tip to get good at Still Life drawing that I’m finding every day of this month: Practice, practice, ….and practice a little more. Needless to say that this kind of drawing will force you to improve your shadows and that will affect the perception of texture and three-dimensional nature of your objects.

This is the most challenging thing I’ve done so are, but many people, mainly Pro Illustrators suggest to do it as frequently as possible and that makes complete sense. Only through real-life observation can we understand the true nature of objects and convey it through our drawings.

Fun Fact.  “Il Maestro Leonardo Da Vinci” was probably one of the few people in history that took observation to the next level. It’s said that he used to study corpses to understand how to express the human body in his art. Hundreds of years later, his most famous creation – La Mona Lisa – led to love affairs and even suicides inspired by the realism of the masterpiece.

YouTube Drawing Channels

  • Draw with Jazza. I love this channel, Jazza is so funny and at the same time, his talent will motivate you to keep drawing and to try different approaches.
  • Fine Art-Tips. Leonardo will show you how hyperrealism is not a far distant goal to achieve.
  • Mark Crilley. His illustrations and use of different techniques will definitely motivate you to copy his style in many ways!

That’s it for this week! I hope you’re learning as much as I am every day.

Keep on learning!!

Drawing – Week #1

The first week of #aprilDrawing was intense! I decided to grab the bull by the horns and enrolled in an online class to draw from the very beginning.

Drawing Course

The class chosen was “The Ultimate Drawing Course – Beginner to Advanced” on Udemy. At the time of this post, the course has 150K students enrolled and a members-only Facebook Group where you can post your progress and get feedback from the community. Pretty impressive!

The first assignment was actually an assessment of my drawing skills. This is the Assessment Drawing on a notepad sheet on #day1 and on drawing paper on #day2.

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#day1

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#day2

 

 

 

 

 

Tools

You need a pencil, paper, and an eraser. Voilà! Now, let’s take the next step. I decided to get me a set of 4 Prismacolor Scholar pencils, a sketchbook, and a 12-inch ruler. Combine that with the sharpener and eraser found at home and you’re good to go to become an illustrator.

Drawing 101

  • Basic Concepts
    • Lines are the fundamental units.
    • Lines create Shapes.
      • The Basic Shapes are triangle, square, trapezoid and circle.  
      • Shapes will help you to visualize the final end. For example this:
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Armadillo made out of Shapes

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Armadillo – Source: cap10k.com

    • Form is the three-dimensional part of drawing.  Form is create out of simple Shapes or using random line patterns. 

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      Three Forms made out of Shapes (left) and two out of random lines (right).

  • Shadowing
    • Always define a light source before drawing, therefore you will know where the shadow exists.
    • Shadow Types: Hight light, Midtone, Core Shadow, Cast Shadow.

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      Shadow Types. The difference is the Value applied to each one of them.

    • Another drawing concept – Value – is how light or dark something is. You can see the Value differences in the Midtone, Core and Cast shadows in the image above.
    • Perspective is the lines that makeup shapes in a three-dimensional world.
  • Tricks
    • Never work only in one area of your drawing and neglect the other ones. Always jump between areas. It’s an iterative process and every part needs to be worded gradually.
    • Your pencil must be sharpened always!
    • Don’t push the pencil too hard. Start sketching with soft lines until you picture where your drawing is going.
    • Before you start any draw remember that everything is created out of simple Shapes.

That’s it! that’s all that you need to evolve from doodles to fancier drawings. Stay tuned for more updates of #aprilDrawing!

Mass Production Machines

An average human is right now producing:

The point is, even if we are at rest, our default state is that one of a Mass Waste Production Machine.

What about what we produce with our minds?

Our mental production depends on what are we feeding them with, but most importantly it depends on how conscious we are about our Production Strategy – that is, our decision to produce positive or negative thoughts.

If our default human condition is to be physical and mental waste machines, the challenge resides in accepting our physical condition and taking full ownership of our mind’s production to impact positively our surroundings. More on this topic will be covered in the next post.

Keep on Producing and Learning.

 

Disciplined to Change

Discipline is one of the ingredients for success but, it can also be the cause of failure.

Once we incorporate a new habit in our repertoire, we feel solid. It helps us to perform actions quickly and effectively. For example:

  • Meditation after waking up, every morning.
  • Lunch at 12:30pm, every noon.
  • A nightcap before going to sleep, every night.

If performing them accomplishes the goals – a clear mind, good digestion, relaxation, etc. – then, that’s great!!!

But, …what happens if, after years of performing them, we realize that meditation doesn’t clear the mind anymore, lunch at the same time turns social instead of based on our metabolic needs or the praised nightcap interrupts the quality of our sleep???

Repeating the same useless actions over and over (even when clearly the actions don’t have the expected outcomes), is not a sign of discipline but a sign of myopia.

When I was a kid and I used to send hand-written letters every week to my grandparents by mail since phone calls between cities were expensive. Nowadays, I could definitely continue doing that and wait days to get a reply, or I can use WhatsApp, Skype, or a simple call. The point is, knowing how they are IS the goal, the medium is irrelevant and up to my choice.

The second ingredient of success is adaptability – the capacity to change according to new conditions. 

Even challenging, analyzing our actions in hindsight and performing necessary tweaks will increase our chances to improve our lives. In other words, being disciplined to constantly change is what guarantees our evolution.

Keep on learning…

 

 

 

 

{We Code}

Yes… You – the least techy person reading this – You Code.

Here are some examples of common scenarios where we all code:

  • When a couple listens to a song and makes it theirs, they are unconsciously programming themselves to later associate that song with the love they feel for each other.
  • When you kindly (and repeatedly) ask your kid to look both ways before crossing the road, you are programming him/her to keep her safe when you’re not there.
  • When mom cooks my favorite meal. Anytime that I smell or order that dish in a restaurant, who do you think comes to mind?
  • When you press snooze on your alarm every morning, your programming your body to procrastinate. (On the other hand, getting out of bed immediately programs your body to get ready for a new round!)
  • When you program yourself to score every time you catch the ball, like Jerry Rice – the greatest wide receiver in NFL history – did. (Bo Eason explains how/why Jerry did that in minute 20:10 of this video).
  • Last but not least, when you listen to/see a notification on your phone and you react reading to it immediately. …well, let me introduce you to Ivan Pavlov and his cute dogs to explain what is called Classical Conditioning – another type of programming.

As with technology, we always have the chance to refactor the process – to restructure our initial behavior and responses to certain triggers.

Keep on Learning…..and Refactoring.

 

Image Source

 

 

Human Resumé

When we apply for a job, the potential employer asks how many years of expertise do we have…. and, like any human applying for his/her first job, the answer is Zero.

…. if that’s tresume-2445060_1280he answer, then what have we been doing with our lives before that moment?

The moment we leave our mom’s belly, we start adding time to our “human expertise counter”. Whether we wanted to or not, breathing was the most difficult task at hand at that moment and we succeeded (or you wouldn’t be reading this).

From that moment on, every second count. It would be foolish to say that we have no expertise in living. …Yeah, anyone can do that, right?!?!…but, does that mean that every that everyone is good at it??

That made me think if I’m making good use of my human skills and time so far. And so, I ask you: besides your “job experience”, what could you say that is your expertise area as a human?

Keep on learning…

 

 

Stand Up and Fight

Stand up and fight.

The battlefield is not in other men’s land, but it’s in our own minds.

We fight against the egoic mind, the one that says “I can’t”, “I am too old”, “I am poor”, the one that yells: “I am superior to…”, “I am inferior to…”

Stand up and fight.

We will use our courage as the shield and our intelligence as the sword, always alert because our own enemy plays never overt.

Like software, we uninstall our personal tyrant using crafty weapons and upgrade ourselves to newer versions. That’s how we create upgraded versions of the world we live in.

Today…We Stand Up and Fight!

 

CI/CD in real life

CI/CD or Continuous Integration and Delivery is not related to software and technology exclusively.

CI/CD means – overall – Continuous Integration of lessons into our minds and Continuous Delivery of digested knowledge for the benefit of something bigger than us (our family, society, planet).

Both of them are enabled by a key principle – Continuous Learning – and their output is much more than simply mobile apps or websites; they create Kaizen (Continuous Improvement), that kicks dopamine in our brains and triggers curiosity to learn more in an infinite loop.

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Keep on learning…

Three Ways to Learn

Life taught me that there are three ways to learn:

  • The easy way
  • The hard way
  • The wise way

The first one – the easy way – is ephemeral. Usually, when we easily succeed on any task, we got to that point because we learned the minimum required to get there. Some will call it “The Principle of Favorability” or Beginner’s’ Luck (…it whets your appetite with the taste of success). Chances are that lessons learned this way will fade away soon.

The second way is through failure and pain. As Tony Robbins says: “When we succeed, we party. When we fail, we ponder.” But, failure does not mean a breakdown at all, it’s only a reminder that what our initial strategy didn’t work and that we need to adjust the course. So, the faster that we fail, the faster that we learn. 

The third way, or what I call “the wise way”, is learning thru the life experience of other people – let’s call them “mentors”. They are humans with ten to fifteen years of experience ahead of us in anything that we want to learn about. Sometimes they’re older, sometimes they’re younger than us. Sometimes they’re in our social circle, sometimes they’re on a different continent. Sometimes they’re gone and we learn thru their legacy.

Remember, any way is the right way as long as you Keep on Learning…

Social Disruption

Whatever we say, people will like or dislike us. Sometimes they could even love us and suddenly hate us. No matter what’s the circumstance, being true to ourselves is what counts at the end.

It’s always good to disrupt people with our conscious actions than without them. And it’s even better to cause positive effects in the minds of the people that we “disrupt” because that may start positive chain reactions that we never predicted.

Do good and Keep on Learning…