Learning to Draw by Candlelight – Stuck in Customs

Learning to Draw by Candlelight

I’m writing an article for Smashing Magazine entitled “10 Principles of Beautiful Photography”, and, in so doing, I am making one of the notions therein that it helps if you can learn to draw. Now, last year, I could barely draw a bath and my portraits looked worse than my 7-year-old’s!

But get this… I have a very good friend at work named Gustaf with whom I made a bet. Now, the guy is brilliant and a great designer, but he is absolutely terrible at Photoshop. I thought that was unacceptable, and I also thought my complete lack of drawing skills was unacceptable. Since I am mega-competitive, I made a bet with him that I could teach myself to be passable at drawing before he could teach himself to be passable at photoshop. I won the competition, as it should be, but he still has time to learn (he got a girlfriend and it kind of threw a wrench into the whole competition).

I’ve always admired people that can draw. “Man, I always wanted to do that!” I thought, remorsefully… But after practicing in secret for many months, I feel like I am a little bit better. I’m not great, by any means. Before getting into it, I knew there were natural savants out there that can naturally draw from birth. I knew I could not ever get to that level, but I wanted to get to a point where I felt better about my ability to capture a scene or feeling with just charcoal and paper.

Anyway, here are some of my favorite drawings over the past six months or so. They are in chronological order with the most recent ones on top.

Learning to Draw by Candlelight (by Stuck in Customs)