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  • Keenan Fonger

How I Did Things When I was Young

So I'm going to ramble about how I used to draw.

When I was younger, I had a funny habit (but typical for a beginning artist) to want every line, every drawing, every mark, to be perfect. Because of this, I would draw almost entirely with 2H pencils because the lead was sharp and the lines were crisp. If I wanted to darken things, I'd splurge and move up to a HB pencil, but never more than that.

I can remember being very proud of a portrait I made, only to hold it up in front of a mirror and realize the lead was so light it was barely visible unless you were within three feet of it.

Pens were much the same. I wanted perfect lines and I wanted ultimate detail. So I exclusively used 0.5 Micron pens... for everything. Tiny sketch--0.5. Mid-sized illustration--0.5. Full-paged masterpiece--0.5. I would even use it to shade in the heavy blacks, all the while wondering why my 0.5 pens are barely surviving a week.

For pencil crayons, I didn't like that their shading was faded and non-vibrant, so I would press as hard as I possibly could. I would make my greens a solid green, my reds a solid red, and my blacks a solid black. And if the crayon wasn't as pointed as a needle, I'd sharpen it, which resulted in me going through a lot of pencil crayons. (Also I never used the white crayon because I didn't understand what it was for).

When I was twelve or so, my parents bought me a pack of Copic markers. 6 markers for $50. I was elated. Finally, I had the tools to make some good art. It was what the professionals used, and I, of course, wanted to be very professional. I used the markers for a map (on a giant piece of 22x30 paper), and destroyed the blue marker filling in the seas. I got frustrated when it didn't look any different than if I had used coloured Sharpies and gave up on them.

This is all to say, it's fascinating to look back at yourself when you were younger and scoff at all the silly things you did with a smug air of hindsight. While we do it a lot with childhood, I don't think it ever goes away. I'm sure in ten years I will look back at myself now and be amazed that I did this thing or that thing.

Experience and time run hand in hand.

If you don't have much experience with drawing, this ramble may have not made that much sense. Well, it is what it is. Here, have an illustration of a... well... whatever this is. I made it with ink and a brush, using all that I had learned from years of doing it wrong.

Until next time,


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