Narrated Walkthrough, Drawing Process Discussion

One of the early pandemic projects I started was to transition from progression .gif slides of my drawing process into full time-lapse videos. I created a YouTube channel to host them, rather than take up my precious WordPress hosting storage space with large video files. I’ve had the YouTube channel now for about a year, and in that time, I’ve created 30 videos of varying quality. Although I still have much to learn about recording and video editing, I think I have come quite a ways from those very rough first videos. At least I’ve figured out how to stop shaking the camera when I blend vigorously!

Most of the videos I share are high speed progressions set to music. My main goal has always been to supplement posts here on the website with time lapse videos, and these quick time-lapses with background music are solid for that purpose. I have also tried to upload a few “how do I do it” explanation style videos, since there seems to be an audience for such a thing. My previous efforts consisted mostly of text/caption-based explanations, which is okay, but I have still wanted to try verbally discussing the process as I do it. I finally made that leap though! It has been a goal to get at least one of these full audio narrations accomplished, and here it is – all 1 hour and 23 minutes worth:

A full discussion on measurement, outlines, layering, blending, and quite a bit more.

As I mentioned, this is something I’ve wanted to do for a while. The main roadblock, though, has been in the “fun” factor. Drawing is a hobby, and part of the fun for me is to listen to music, talk with my family, and not really be so focused on professionalism. Narrating and recording audio seems to require 1) my full attention and 2) for me to banish my kids from the drawing area, both of which are not really ideal. Basically, removing myself from everyone for a couple hours isn’t my preferred use of a precious weekend day. But, still something I wanted to try, so I’m glad I was finally able to get it knocked out.

My stance on this audio walkthrough video is similar to when I started this website; if it even helps a couple of people figure something out about their own art, then I’m glad I did it. This video is really long, and my first thought was that I can’t imagine many people would watch it. But, the flip side is I’ve watched similar videos by other people (Luisina Juliete, Kirsty Partridge, Shibasaki) and learned a ton of valuable information. And of course, I still watch episodes of the Joy of Painting with Bob Ross all the time on the Roku Channel (which is nice and free). So maybe someone will find it useful after all!

Going back to the YouTube channel itself, it’s kind of surprising to realize I’ve posted 30 videos now. I mean, perhaps it shouldn’t be, since over the course of a year, that wouldn’t be a huge amount of art. But I think there are some interesting ones on there at this point. Here’s a collection of some that I really enjoyed:

Also, although this post is naturally focused on a YouTube video, since it’s also about art, I should talk about the drawing itself a bit. The order is reverse of my typically layout (drawing first, then progression video), but nothing wrong with mixing it up sometimes! So, for this drawing I wanted something that wasn’t too difficult that I might mess up terribly. I’m quite comfortable with three quarters view head-and-shoulder portraits, so I browsed through my “ideas” folder for something solid. I found what I originally thought was a stock photo from a The Onion article, but discovered later I was way off – it’s actually a scene from a remake of Stephen King’s The Stand.

Here’s the final version of the drawing:

One of the challenges I mentioned in the video is that when I am sketching the outline, I like to hover directly over the paper. For me, the moments I need greatest concentration (the initial outline and coloring/detailing the eyes), my instinct pushes me to hover less than a foot over the page. I guess it’s my most comfortable position, but it’s definitely not conducive to recording video! So it was definitely a struggle to keep my head out of the way towards the beginning of the video. Adding color layers, even when it requires nuisance and precision, is definitely easier to manage sitting like a normal person, leaned back in my chair. It was also somewhat challenging to talk about the drawing while I was doing it; I’m not normally worried about the “why” of it. I just dive in and do stuff, but here I had to try to decipher how and put it into words.

Despite the challenge, I think it turned out pretty well. The outline was a little questionable perhaps, but it did come together as the color was layered in. I find that’s a scenario that unfolds fairly often – I feel unsatisfied with early stages, but it eventually comes together towards the end. As I discussed in the video, it’s my view that the outline isn’t actually isn’t vitally important to get perfect. It’s very useful to provide a track for your car to drive on; keep your proportions accurate and all. But those graphite lines eventually disappear for the most part, and the colored pencil provides the real final details. That may not have been the case with my drawings a couple of years ago that had really heavy outlines, but it definitely seems true now. The colored pencil is the star of this show!

Anyhow, overall I am happy with how this drawing turned out. This was a good subject for a progression video and I feel satisfied with the weekend’s art project!

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