Thursday, July 14, 2016

How Writing is Similar to Drawing

I like drawing, it has always been my hobby since I was a little girl. Somehow I grew up and I absorbed by the busy life that I didn't have time to draw any more. Recently, I missed it so much, and had a number of motivations, that I started drawing again, from the basics this time. As a grown up, I'm enjoying this process even more as I find it quite rewarding. It is a nice way to relax and let the ideas flow into my head. Many of my "great" (because they are mine :)) ideas come while I'm drawing.

So, starting from the basics, the first thing I learnt about is to start with a simple sketch highlighting the main features and proportions of the drawing. For instance, if I'm going to draw a human in specific pose from a specific perspective, I should start with basic shapes, usually lines and spheres depicting where each part should be placed.

Simple sketching while learning the basics

The next step would be to do another scan and add more details about the main shapes such as the shoulders, the chest, the arms and the legs. I then refine the drawing once more to add more features about the clothes, the face and the hair. Finally, I put in the final touches on the small details of the face, hair style and cloths.

Sketches about different poses

Starting with a sketch helps a lot with making sure the final drawing makes sense. Otherwise, it is very likely that I will end up with wrong proportions and wired looking gesture even if the details are good.

As a researcher, a big part of my job requires writing. Whether papers, articles, book chapters and blogs. Recently, while writing an article, it occurs to me that writing a good article is similar in many ways to making a good drawing. Meaning, if I have an idea of what I would like to write about, then a good article should start with a sketch about the main topics I will be covering and the length I should span in each (the lines and circles in a drawing). This ensures I don't go off-topic, that there is no overlap between the sections and that I don't expand in one area at the price of another. From there, the process follows quite smoothly; refining each section by adding subsections and a few points about what each covers (specifying and putting the basic shapes of a drawing in place); another scan to rewrite the points into sentences (adding more features for each shape) and finally adding more details and making sure everything connects smoothly (final touches on a drawing).

I like the idea of connecting two seemingly unrelated processes and I find it quite intriguing. I hope this realisation will help me (and you) enjoy writing and drawing even more :).