A featured image collage, showing various looping marks and drawing drills to practice line work. The background is digital, and on top are three photos of copy paper sheets with various drawing drill marks. Text top top states: Chaotic Drawing Drills.
Digital Painting,  Drawing

Chaotic Drawing Drills

I’d paused posting in here for the later half of January 2024, as some very serious health issues have been happening to a close family member. That’s as much detail as I want to give here on my blog for now. How does one stay creative in times of extreme stress? Drawing drills have always been my go to, but even those have felt like a challenge. There are so many variations on drills, and they’re all meant to be very simple: draw ovals, practice line confidence, etc. Recently, I stumbled on a practice of outlining looping marks. The approach is very chaotic looking, but overall I’ve found it’s a calming way to relax while drawing.

Below is an example of the first type of drills I learned, way back around 2017. Which… let me pause and say it’s a little regretful that it took me that long to stumble upon regular drawing drills and line confidence exercises. All my art courses before that treated line work as something where you were either born with (i.e. you were “talented”), or that you sadly lacked. Sure, it was said drawing skill in general would refine over time with practice, but with no specific exercises were offered like those I later found via Draw a Box, Scott Robertson, Peter Han, Ctrl+Paint Unplugged, and Proko.com.

For this recent page from January 7th, 2024, I was following along to the video CGMA | Dynamic Sketching 1 with Peter Han. However, the first place I stumbled upon this specific practice was at the Draw a Box website, by Irshad Karim (aka Uncomfortable), who took a Peter Han Dynamic sketching course.

A photo of a sheet of copy paper with straight lines drawn all over it for the purposes of drill practice. A third of the lines are 2 inches long, another third half the width of the paper, and the last third almost the full width of the paper. In the free spaces re various arcing lines and simple circles, triangles, and squares. The drawing is dated Jan 7, 2024.
Standard drawing drills, learned from Draw a Box / Peter Han’s dynamic drawing approach.

Below is a very chaotic line stroke practice variation. First I used highlighters and markers to make looping scribbles, then I used a fine liner to follow the edges of the marks. I was thinking of how to pull the line confidently and break the curves up when necessary, rather than trying to draw too complex of a “C” or “S” curve in one stroke. The “considering how to break up the curves” came from watching the Proko Drawing Basics course demos on CSI lines.

A photo of a sheet of copy paper, showing looping highlighter and marker lines, then outlined in black ink.
Highlighter and Copic marker loops, outlined with a 0.3 Ohuhu fine liner pen.

The next page was a combination of ellipse practice (Taken from Draw a Box drills), and more simple swirling marks.

A sheet of drawing drills. Some are boxes with ellipses. Most are curving arcs of highlighter marks, that are then inked in an outline.
A mix of traditional drills, this time from the Draw a Box website, along with the more chaotic highlighter arcs.

And finally, a variation of doodles and drills created in Procreate on my iPad. This drawing was also a chance to play wit some brush sets from True Grit Texture Supply, and specifically Distress, KraftTone, and KolorMarc sets. Some of those came in the larger Comic Creator’s Bundle they offer. This was one of the slightly pricier brush suppliers I’ve found, but so far I think it’s worth it.

A digital painting of looping marker-brush spirals, then outlined in a black ink brush. Cylinders and boxes are draw on the edges. The digital drawing has been distressed with texture brushes to give it a rough look. Text on top of the drawing states: chaotic drawing drills.
More chaos, this time in Procreate! Heavily using some True Grit texture, ink, and marker brushes.

My energy has been extremely low lately, so we shall see what sketches I’m able to make this week. I’m trying to take it easy while also not giving up on my creative practice or putting it entirely on pause.

‘Til next time.

Listening to: Hiru no Tsuki, Akino Arai
Current mood: stressed

I'm an illustrator and web developer honing my skills and learning all I can about drawing, painting, and storytelling through visual art.