Drawing Now: Week 1

We are starting "Drawing Now!" And this letter is about YOU. And me. And you, when you say "I", ha-ha.


When you create something or get a new idea, you do not always ask yourself "where did it originate from?". Well, sometimes it is fairly easy - you watch a movie and make a fan art, or your friend asks you to draw her/him, no questions. However, more deep ideas come from your life experiences, that pile up during your life. And these experiences can become a strong base for an artist to say: I painted it like that, because..:

  • I used to live near a forest, and I like to draw landscapes
  • I did not live near a forest 😞 so I want to draw lanscapes, because I miss them
  • My granny makes incredible desserts, so I like to draw sweets and pastries, and I go to cafes pretty often
  • I had a cat, and I love cats, and I draw them everywhere!
  • I watched "Transformers" and since then I enjoy drawing robots

Your identity may affect not only what you paint, but also how: which colour palette you choose, which kind of lines you draw. Sometimes one can track artists living their tough or happy times just through the colours they use and the brush strokes they make.



Take a piece of paper (or open any writing app), and write:

  • At least 5 things that you like
  • At least 3 things that you do not like
  • At least 3 things from your life that may have shaped the way you perceive the world around you (this one is tricky)

This list may change over time, but for now it is your basis - something, that you can start off, and an inspiration for drawing ideas.


The second task is to draw your self-portrait (yay, we draw now!). Just take your pencil, or pen, or anything else, and try to draw a portrait of yours, keeping in mind the answers from the first task. Also, additionally you can think of extra points, such as: what do you find important in your look that differentiates you from others? Is it your hair, the way you dress, your height, your pet? Maybe, you would like to be in a some specific place?

You can use several methods to approach drawing (mix and combine):

  1. Put a mirror in front of you and draw. You can paint only a face, or half-body, or full. No need to be super precise, it should be fun!
  2. Try a cartoon-y way. Remember any comics or comic strip you have read and liked. Garfield? Batman? Sarah Scribbles? Nemi? Dilbert? Look how they draw and try to mimic their style. Just notice how confident their lines are.
  3. Take a photo of yours that you like and use it as a reference.

You want to draw on a small piece of paper? Sure. You bought a one-meter canvas? Go for it! Start with the tools that you are already familiar with. Maybe before drawing you want to read a book on "How to draw portraits with pencil", who knows.


  • Try to limit yourself in time (say, no more than 15-30 minutes per drawing)
  • Do not worry if something doesn't look very right, just draw over it
  • Use references when needed
  • Add extra objects around you if you feel like it!


  • Self-portrait is a great opportunity for an artist to see his/her progress in drawing. If you follow Loish, you can notice that she draws herself very often.
  • Art vs Artist on Instagram
  • Another initiative: #meettheartist

Additional reading

  • Twyla Tharp, "The Creative Habit: Learn it and use it for life"
  • Scott McCloud, "Understanding Comics"

Posted on January 21, 2021
Tags: #drawing-now