At Arm’s Length

Tonight I started trying to draw with my entire arm for really the first time ever. Before today, I had always planted the heel of my hand on the drawing surface and drawn with my fingers. I kept reading how that wasn’t the best way to go – at least not in all circumstances – but drawing with my arm seemed really uncomfortable and out of control. Well, today I watched the umpteenth video of a person with vastly superior skills drawing with his arm, so I threw in the towel and dedicated myself to learning how to do it.

I drew a lot of circles on several sheets of scratch paper, way more than would be worth posting. By the end of the evening, I had noticed two things. First, even though I was still new to the process, I was markedly more comfortable drawing with my whole arm than I had been when I first started; the “pain” of this new approach only lasted about an hour or so. Second, drawing with my arm seems to be a paper and pencil thing; it’s almost impossible to do effectively on my Intuos – at least so far.

A crop of circles
A crop of circles

One of the things I’m hoping to get out of this is the ability to draw larger. I have a tendency to draw really small and it hasn’t worked very well as I’ve been trying to do some traditional paper and pencil animating. We’ll see how it goes.