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My first drawing tablet

My first week of learning to draw

Trong Nguyen
April 5th, 2020

Today celebrates one week I bought the first drawing pan an XP-Pen Deco 03 from Carousell.

Back to one day before I bought it, I was browsing on Instagram. And as usual, an Ads from Motion Design School about frame-by-frame hand-drawn animation shown up.

I am always interested in 2D animation. Especially with morphing and smooth animation. There was no reason to not check that course.

In the introduction of the course, they listed down three reasons why people usually fail in hand-drawn special effects. One of them is:

“I don’t have a graphics tablet: Well, you should purchase one. You will most definitely need one right here in the course. Seriously, why don’t you still have one?

“Seriously, why don’t you still have one? Seriously?”. This question keeps echoing in my mind.

“Why not?” - I replied to myself. At least, I have a salary and a dawing pan isn’t very expensive. But I haven’t decided if I bought it yet.

In the course, it has a free introduction lesson, free to watch. I started with the first video. And what the teacher is saying is so cool and inspired. They are very basic principles of drawing effects that I’ve never known about them before.

So I decided to buy a graphic tablet. I did some researches then chose to buy an XP-Pen Deco 03. Because the price is good ($125), and the size of the pan is equal to my Macbook screen, so it’s easy for mapping.

In the beginning, I know that I have to learn basic stuff first. Not from random videos from Youtube. It has to be a full course for a very beginner. I bought a $20 course on Udemy. Thanks to the internet, learning is so cheap and easy for those who want to learn.

I started with basic elements: rough lines, straight lines, curved line, C curves, S curves,… They are very good for me to get familiar with a new drawing material: screen. It’s very different from drawing on real paper (paper is always the best). But to dive into digital and frame-by-frame animation, we have to get used to drawing on the screen.

Then I continued with shapes: from rectangles to squares, triangles, circles,…. Anyone can draw them. That’s why my wife keeps asking my “Why do you have to draw these simple things? Have you drawn a human face yet?”.

Hh…. It makes sense. to ask those questions. But from my experience, if we want to go long and efficient, we have to learn the basic stuff first, always, anything.

Then I practiced with organic shapes. The differences between basic shapes and organic shapes are the edge and the line. Organic shapes have smooth edges, and the lines turn in to curves instead of straight.

It very challenging at the beginning as we have to transform s straight line to smooth curves in one stroke, especially the organic triangle. But we just need time to practice.

That’s my first week of learning to draw with a graphic tablet. There’s nothing new for you. As I said, we need to learn the basic first and lots of practice. A quote from Bruce Lee keeps echoing in my head while learning the basic lesson, motivates me to stay practicing the basic things:

“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”

It’s just 1/4 of the drawing course for beginners. And there are lots of things to learn ahead. As classic advice that my colleague keeps saying:

“Anyone can draw.”

Yes, anyone can draw. Just don’t know whether it’s good or bad. But in the quarantined time like today, learning to draw is a killing time activity.

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