Focus, Clips and Bad Drawings

Everyday is always a day of learning and today I’ve learned a bit more on focus, clips and bad drawings.

Yesterday I had a lot of distractions that pulled me away from my drawing. The distractions were of my own making and I recognized that I could improve today. And this is what I did this morning. I went into Deep Work mode and focused hard on drawing and removed all other distractions.

It’s amazing how much you can get done is very little time when you mind has Black Hole Focus.

The next thing I learned was that binder clips will leave creases in your paper if you use them to hang up your drawings. This is a bit frustrating. I don’t think any artist likes their drawings even slightly marred after working so hard on them.

Lastly, I showed in the video that I put up my drawings so that I can reference them, think about them and learn from them. But the drawings that I learn from the most are the worst ones. These are the drawings that are shouting loudly what I can improve upon. Don’t hide your “bad drawings”, they are your best source for getting better.

Pocahontas Drawing in Graphite

Pocahontas is coming along well. I’m still working up her face is a very soft way. But I think I’m getting bit too dark in places. I need to be really mindful of my values because I can lean to heavily in the dark areas too soon. Because graphite can’t get as black as charcoal I don’t want to hit the limits of my materials just yet. Especially when I know her hair will be the darkest thing in the image.

Tomorrow I think I’m going to establish a better scale to work from.

Previous Pocahontas Drawing Posts


The normal 15 minute warm-up in graphite.


One Minute Gestures

For the one minute gesture exercise from the The Natural Way to Draw book I decided to start slowly and focus on head for the first couple pages. I’m always trying to change up these exercises and keep my mind working and fresh. This is also a good way to prevent bad habits from forming.

What went well, what was awesome! Celebrate It!

Super focused morning with my art practice and I’ve learned a bit about focus, clips and bad drawings. Or at least I’ve refreshed my memory on them.

What needs work? What did you learn?

Find a better way to hang my drawings so that the clips don’t put dents in the paper.

How am I going to Optimize moving forward?

I think I’m going to use some black foam core pieces that are the same width of the clips and put those between the jaws of the clip and the paper.

Session Details