Artistic Doodles

Written by Dan Carlson@minutiaeman

Published September 12, 2020

I never enjoyed art classes when I was in school. Of course I doodled plenty as a kid, drawing and painting maps and scenes from my imagination. I even was obsessed with drawing floor plans for a while (not coincidentally right around the time my family was searching for a new house). But in school, I was never interested in creating the kind of artwork that the teachers seemed to want. And because the art classes were usually an hour or less, I never felt like I had enough time or the opportunity to learn how to create something well.

So I’ve really surprised myself over the past couple of years as I (re)discovered an interest in drawing. As with another project, it started out as a way to learn an app that I teach at work. In this case, it was the amazing Procreate for iPad. Procreate is an app that is really easy to get started with, because all you have to do is choose a brush and start drawing. But it’s also got some pretty complex features—if you need them. I wanted to explore the ins and outs of different drawing techniques and tools that the app provided, including layers, smudging, blending, and even animation.

And somewhere along the way, I realized that I was doing it not just because I needed to, but because I wanted to.

I’m nowhere near an expert when it comes to drawing and painting techniques, and I don’t hold any illusions that the stuff I’ve created is exceptional. But I like it, and that’s the most important thing, right?

So here are some space-themed images that I’ve drawn over the past couple of years. I’ve experimented with a few different styles, and early on I tried to hide my discomfort and inexperience with crayon-style brushes. And I’ve certainly used some tricks along the way… like tracing some of the more complicated objects (the astronaut and a couple of the ships). But all of the planets were drawn from scratch with brushes and shading, and the asteroids started out as a shading experiment that went way farther and turned out way better than I expected.

I’m glad I’m having a little bit of fun creating something different!

And finally, an experiment in animation that practically begged for a soundtrack: