Drawing Now: Week 2

In this week's letter we will try to find some patterns that make it easier to start drawing rather than stressing out.


Imagine a perfect moment - you get to your desk, sit comfortably (cup of tea on the side), take your beautiful notebook, prepare all your brushes and paints... And then you sit there for 20 minutes, afraid of starting. Ugh. But here is the thing - there are really many ways to get out of this procrastination hole, and I will give you a couple of tips on that.

"How can I start ruining my dreamy-unicorn-shiny notebook that only has to have pretty pictures, which I always can show to my friends? If I make a mistake, it stays there forever!" Well. We definitely can do something about it 🙂 Any artist's perfect sketchbook that you see in social media is usually not what it really is. You maybe see a page, or a nice side of one page, whereas the other side is covered with scribbles. Or one can at first prepare the composition somewhere else and only after that start working in a notebook. Moreover - you do not have to show your notebook to anyone at all! You need to establish your drawing routine in a way that will empower you instead of making you discouraged.

Here is how I usually get over it. In general, I have several different papers for various purposes, and main ones are:

  • A tiny travel sketchbook (maybe A7), that I use for ink life drawings while I am driving to work
  • A4 printing paper that is always on my table for warm-up sketches (or any old paper sheets I have)
  • Various paper sheets of different quality that I use when I have a solid idea.

Most of the time when I am outside, I have a notebook with me, and at home, I use whatever I can find at that moment, since I can always take a photo and process further digitally. This way I am never scared that something is not right - I can always throw/cut the junk away XD

The main point is - you have to start. It is not about doing something, it is about starting doing something. You need to start moving your pencil to get anything out. And for this you can use any scratch paper you find. Most of us need time to warm up anyway, so just get through this starting stage, and you will notice how easy it is to continue.

Small tips:

  • If you are working in a sketchbook, it is always easier to start from the page 2 instead of thinking "I will see this first image every time I open my notebook, it has to be perfect!". Flip the first page, and then begin.
  • When you really do not like something - glue a piece of paper on top of it, or just pick a cool sticker. Own your mistakes, they are normal.
  • Get a folder or a box for works that you are doing in separate sheets, - it is always rewarding to see how much you have done, and going through old sketches may give you some good ideas.



Think how to make your "starting moment" as smooth as possible - maybe your brushes have to be always on the table, or there is always water in a glass, so that you can draw whenever you want even without standing up. Or a post-it on the wall that tells you "time to draw now!".

My current solution - always carry an ink pen and a small notebook, all pencil cases are open and reachable on my desk, my acrylic materials are in the closest shelf (need one minute to prepare). All empty sheets of paper are in a box on the table, so that I can grab anything I may need.


The topic for this week - your favourite things 🙂 If they are real objects that are reachable (like your cat, or a plant pot), try to sketch them from life. If you think about a place, such as a library, or mountains, find good references for them to draw from. Think how you could modify the objects, so that you do not get stuck on a single topic.


Put away one of the drawings for a couple of days, or take a drawing from the first week, and try to find something that you could have done better. Something, that does not feel right anymore. Note it down. It happens pretty often that our eyes just cannot perceive errors anymore, and one needs to wait a bit to fully see it. Therefore, it is a good practice to remind what could have been done better, so that it may pop to one's mind next time.


Posted on January 28, 2021
Tags: #drawing-now