For the past few months I've been practicing figure drawing in the mornings before work. Today, something clicked. Suddenly it seemed like I was better proportioning heads, arms and legs, picking up on how to lay down shadows with the charcoal, and I was moving faster and more confidently. Simply, each drawing, from the 1 minute quick-draws to the 10 minute drawing at the end of the session were better.

Don't get me wrong, I still have a loooooooong [1] way to go with figure drawing. And this bout of practicing I've fallen into has only been about some 6 or 7 weeks of daily practice. In that time, today is the first day where suddenly something seemed to change.

The phenomenon of something clicking is contextually a bit difficult to describe. Nonetheless, for me, I think it's important to make note of when things click, for a few reasons. To do so keeps me motivated. It represents something of a miniature milestone. It is a moment in which I've seen my working results reflect back the technical advice I've seen again and again. In my case, I just needed to put enough mileage in before I could connect the advice and knowledge I'd absorbed with, in this case, how my body moved to draw, and the way my eyes perceived shapes, contours, lines, contrast, and light.

This isn't the first time something like this has happened to me. I remember when I first started learning to code, and a friend explained the prototype chain in Javascript. I didn't get it then. I didn't get it for a while. Then one day, I got it [2].

I say, mark those days down. They represent the fruit of your labours, especially the labours of patience. Will they come to any or all of us? Can't say. But I will say that I have been thinking about mileage a lot; that so long as I enjoy the craft I am pursuing, accruing mileage is the fastest (and slowest) way forward.

  1. Looooooooooooooooong ↩︎

  2. I don't write much JS these days, so best not to ask me to try and describe it. ↩︎