Wait you mean I need to learn to draw???
So after coming up with the idea of Being Bears, there was one problem. I couldn’t draw! Seriously I couldn’t. I can’t find any of my earliest attempts, but here is one of my first attempts at drawing straight lines (around August 2015) (Yes, they’re supposed to be straight):
To start a webcomic one needs to be able to draw, or work with someone who could! Well I didn’t know where to start. That’s wrong. I did know where to start – learn to draw! But how, where and what?
I didn’t know if I would stay with it and wasn’t ready to invest a load of money. I mean, I’ve done this before and I gave up (*cough* guitar *cough* didgeridoo *cough*). So I resolved to find a way to learn to draw that was
– Free (or doesn’t cost much)
– Easy to understand
– Fully online (no books)
I was certain I could learn without having to go to an Art school, or pay loads of money to an online course! So I spent ages online looking for the right free start. There were many suggestions, some useful others meh. I do understand, to get the best stuff you gotta pay for it. But I was determined! And when I was losing hope Reddit saved the day!
First, you must learn to drawabox!
I love Reddit! I mean I really do. I spend a lot of my time lurking (yes I’m a lurker) on Reddit. The first website I go to on a morning is Reddit! There are a lot of junk, useless stuff, and loads of really neat stuff to learn. Lots of strange, wonderful and scary people on Reddit. I usually love the comments. Man they crack me up! But sometimes, I would find a gem. A one in a million, no gazillion gem. A rare item of power like this gif of the most adorable Pomeranian jumping! He is so frigging cute!!! My favourite gif ever!!!!!
Right, we were talking about drawing. In mid 2015, I found the next best thing on Reddit, the /r/ArtFundamentals subreddit. This is the Reddit page for the drawabox.com website. Drawabox is an exercise based approach to drawing, and it’s continually updating. There a lot of exercises and challenges that will take you from a drawing noob to someone who is capable of drawing.
I immediately fell into it. I was doing the exercises daily. At that time there was no subscription to have /u/Uncomfortable (the site owner and the demigod of drawing) to critique any homework submissions. I did however, support him on Patreon for some time.
It took me a few months to complete the first lesson in November 2015. Here’s my attempt of the first part, which was drawing lines, ellipses and boxes http://imgur.com/a/JCvtI. A month after I completed the the 250 boxes challenge. You can see how bad I was at first and my progress.
After the first lesson and challenge I started the second lesson. This was basically an introduction to 3D drawing. It was a lot longer, about 3 months I think. I was struggling with the intersections part of the exercises and basically did the lesson twice.
I stopped drawing and in June 2016 did the 250 cylinders challenge. I redid part of the first homework for practice and then managed to finally complete the second lesson that month.
Then came the third lesson, about drawing plants. This was hard! I attempted this lesson about three times! I would draw then get stuck, forget it for a few days, then before restarting, I would get too rusty and have to complete parts of the previous lessons. I never did reach the end of the third lesson.
At this point I was losing hope and felt like I was doing school work – simply following a curriculum and completing the assignments solely to complete homework as opposed to drawing for wanting to do so! I felt I was not making any progress and the webcomic dream looked increasingly further away!