Last week I talked about how I'm tracking my hours spent practicing painting and drawing, with the end goal of reaching 10,000 hours -- at which point, according to Malcolm Gladwell, I'll have mastered that ish.
I thought I'd share one thing that has really helped me focus on the specific drawing skills I wanted to master: creating my own workbook.
This probably goes back to my time as a teacher, but when I realized I had two specific goals for my sketching practice (improving at drawing faces and buildings in perspective), I decided to create a workbook especially for these skills.
MATERIALS: blank notebook or sketchbook, printer and paper, scissors, super pretty washi tape (ok, or any tape)
STEP 1: Decide what types of images you want and gather them up -- you want to collect all your inspiration now, so later on you can focus on practicing. . . not on pinning. :)
You can see some of my images on my Reference Faces and References Places boards. I also used some of my own photographs. If you're more into hand-lettering, you might want to type up some quotes, phrases, or words you'd like to try drawing.
Quick side note: make sure you use these images just for practice, not as reference images in works to be sold, which can become a copyright issue. Just FYI. Also, I'm (for obvious reasons) a big advocate of crediting and/or paying for people's creative work.
STEP 2: Print out all your images and cut them out.
I formatted my images really quickly in Powerpoint and used the black-and-white "rush" printer settings to save ink.
STEP 3: Tape each image into a left-hand page of your sketchbook. Do them all at once so your workbook is ready to go!
STEP 4: One each right-hand page of the sketchbook, practice drawing the facing photo.
If you don't like one drawing, move the photo to the next blank spread in the sketchbook and try again. But keep the original drawing! You may dislike it, but it's seriously rewarding to look back at your older sketches and see how far you've come.
Step 5: Carry it around with you and keep sketching!
This is all about developing a habit of practice, and making it easy to do that practice, and, hopefully, a bit fun!