A Definitive View On… Staying Basic


I think I need more pencils.

I think people who are my age (mid-40’s) or so are in a unique position. We grew up using basic things – like the card catalog at the library, encyclopedias for research, and paper and pen or pencils for writing and drawing. Still, we’re not so entrenched in our ways that we can’t adapt to new things. We’re comfortable using streaming services for our television needs. We use laptops and tablets for our work and reading. It’s an easy adjustment.

Well, almost an easy one. We’re in a time where artists can draw digitally at a level that equals and sometimes even surpasses the pen/pencil/paper combination. I have a Cintiq… but I never use it. I still like to draw with pencil and paper. The photo above is just a small amount of pencils I have.

Why do I still use this method? I just like the feel of a pencil in my hand and how the lead interacts with the paper. I also love buying sketch/drawing books and filling them up and then saving the drawings in binders. I can physically sort through my progress as an artist. It feels a lot more real than swiping through scans and photos on a tablet. There’s a quote from Freddie Williams II’s book, “The DC Guide to Drawing Digitally” where an artist told him, “I’ll just keep getting my hands dirty.” That’s how I feel about my drawing.

That’s not to say that I’ll never get into digital drawing. I’ve seen good things from people using an iPad Pro with an Apple pencil and an app called Procreate.  Those could be tools that I use in the future. If you have any suggestions, feel free to leave them below.

Until then… I’ll just keep getting my hands dirty.

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