Returning to art

August 20th, 2017

When I was young, art was the hobby that I spent the most time on. I’d easily spend hours sitting in my room drawing with just pencil and paper. (Oh those pre-internet days…) Then in high school, I took art lessons at a nearby art studio, which provided all the materials and allowed me to try different mediums. The instructors also didn’t teach you step-by-step. They’d let you pick the project and then offer tips and guidance along the way, which worked really well for me.

Unfortunately, I had to stop the lessons in college because I was too busy, and I lived farther from the studio. Since then, I hadn’t really returned to working on artwork. I’d maybe do a drawing or two a year, but that was mainly it.

This year, I really wanted to get back into that hobby. Past attempts didn’t work out because I’d be frustrated by how rusty I was and how nothing came out the way I wanted it to. This time, I’m being more patient. After all, no one is amazing in the beginning. I know I need to practice, practice, practice.


In a previous entry, I showed off some quick sketches I did as practice, and they were a good starting point for me to get back into it. Then Rezina suggested we do an art trade together! That really gave me the motivation and boost I needed. We decided on a black and white One Piece trade since we both love the series. I requested Zoro, and she requested Ace, Luffy, and Sabo.

This is what Rezina sent me! I love her drawings, and I love that she gave me a Ghibli card too!! :D

And here is what I drew for her! After our trade, we discovered that we’re total opposites on sizes! I draw really big, and she draws really small, so our drawings were vastly different in size, haha.

I used a HB pencil and blending stubs for most of it and a mechanical pencil for the outlines. Here’s a look at the base sketch and outline before I shaded it. (Click for full images.)

After that, I wanted to get some practice with a color medium. I went back to my good ol’ pal, Prismacolor pencils. I thought that I had kept up with my skill in it, and well, I was wrong.

The one I did in 2004 was so much better! It had better colors, shading, and blending. I didn’t realize how much worse my skills had actually gotten. I definitely wanted to work on it, so I bought some toned-paper and drew a fox that I saw when I visited the Zao Fox Village in Japan.

I really should have gotten this type of paper earlier because I love how the colors look against it and that that I can actually use colors like white and light gray. The gray background also helped me see where gaps in my coloring was.

Oh, and I have progress photos of this one, too, if you’d like to see:

Lastly, I’ve been wanting to get into watercolors because I love how they look. I’ve had a little experience with them in the past but not much.

I decided to draw and paint My Hero Academia characters for practice because… there’s a lot of characters and… I need a lot of practice… These paintings are in the order that I did them, and you can see that they get a little better each time. I still don’t have control of the brush and paints the way I want to, but this is a start!

And here are some progress photos of the last painting:

I’m really glad I’m doing art as a hobby again because it’s been so relaxing to do, and I really want to get better at it. I will continue to share more as I finish more pieces! (I post a lot of WIPs and final pieces on Twitter, by the way!)

12 Responses to “Returning to art”

  • Nancy says:

    It’s so cool to see the artwork you’ve done over the years and seeing more lately! Glad that the art trade with Rezina worked out – her pieces of Zoro looks cute! Your drawing of Ace, Luffy, and Sabo looks legit!!! I love the levels of shade you’ve incorporated into the piece. Improvement over the years is a must. Your fox and monkey artwork are cute! Your watercoloring is great so far. I have a set of watercoloring pens and I’m still trying to figure out what to do with them XD. Thanks for sharing, Cat!!!

  • Molly says:

    You are so talented. I love all of these!

    Molly | https://www.eyeconicsociety.co.uk/

  • Rezina says:

    Yay I’m so glad you really liked doing the art trade! I really liked it because it gave me a subject to draw. I always have a hard time deciding what to draw, haha. I had a lot of fun and I really liked what you drew! I still haven’t found a frame for your picture yet, haha.

    Your color pencil skills are amazing. I really love how water colors look too! I like experimenting with ink and have been looking into water brushes. So I purchased the little water color set that you can use with it. I also want to experiment with digital drawing, so I’m super excited!

    I like how your My Hero Academia characters turned out. I like the different shading of the colors you used!

  • Claudine says:

    This is super cool! I love seeing how much your skills have progressed and I love how you also did a comparison of your work and Rezina’s XD You both have different styles but you are both talented artists! Great job :)

    I really like the fox drawing and I agree, the color of the paper gives a different effect! Maybe you can experiment more with that :)

  • Amy says:

    I think it’s great that you’re getting back into art again. I used to do it at school/6th form, which meant I got to spend pretty much every evening drawing. I’ve dipped back into it a couple of times since, but unfortunately my skills are not what they used to be. This has inspired me to try and improve them though, so hopefully I’ll make the time to do so!

    I love he drawings and paintings you’ve done. They all look fantastic. I think your colouring skills are amazing, even though you don’t think they’re as good. That monkey is amazing!

    I struggle with watercolours. They seem like they’re gonna be easy, but shading is so difficult. Plus I tend to put either too much or too little water on my brush, which ruins everything!

    Good luck continuing with this. You really are doing great and I love everything you’ve done so far!

  • Vicky says:

    Aaaah your stuff are all so beautiful. I especially love the detail in the hair of your animals.

    I’ve never been good at drawing, but I’ve also never really put that much effort into trying, so that’s probably why, haha. It’s awesome that you’re going back to something you enjoy. It’s always easier to do, too, when you have friends who like the same things, who can encourage you and keep motivating you during those times when you feel lazy.

  • michelle says:

    Stop be talented XD Jk be talented and share those talents with the world. Your stuff is amazing and I love how you’ve improved by the years as you keep doing it. Practice, practice! I am glad that despite everything you are focused.

  • Chynna says:

    You’re honestly so talented – it’s great that you’re getting back into art again. I used to draw a bit back when I was in school, but never really continued!

    I love that you did an art trade with Rezina! Her drawings are really cute :) I love your sketches, as well, thank you for sharing them!

  • Pauline says:

    Cat, this is incredible! You’re immensely talented 😍

    When I was younger, I was really into art too. I took Art GCSEs and scored one of the highest grades because I did one of my final pieces by hand but also a digital version (don’t ask me why, I thought it was cool to compare them both xD) I mainly did painting in the past.

    I’m so glad that you got back in touch with your art side again and that you and Rezina are doing this together! It’s so cute that you both exchanged art and realised that you have different scales of artwork. THATS SO COOL.

    I hope that you keep drawing, keep being creative and arty! You are SO talented!!

  • Sakura says:

    Wow! You are really good in colouring! That’s so cool and you are so talented (along with your baking, photography and IT talents)!

    I was never the artsy kind in terms of drawing or colouring. When I was young, I would gladly outsource those homework to others but sadly, no one is there to take them. :(

  • Hiro says:

    I lovee your animals. They’re so cute and life-like!
    The thing about all our crafts is that you gotta practice or you get rusty… I’m just starting to poke at Photoshop again after YEARS for the sake of making blog banners, and I’m like, “What the eff is this?!” I hope for both of us, art is like riding a bicycle, and once we poke at it enough and get over the initial scaredness of doing something a little unstable again, we’ll get back into it!
    I think stuff like art trades are great idea too… It motivates so well. Having a blog and making more blog friends was a great motivator for me to keep on writing once I came back, and to make the content a lot different than before. :)

    I’m not heavily considering getting back into photography once I get my illnesses in remission… I think hobbies are essence to our existences! (But first, gotta finish decluttering my apartment so I can welcome new things into it!!! XD)

  • Ongaku says:

    I’ve always loved looking at your art. You are just a girl of many talents! XD I’m glad drawing is very relaxing for you. I feel like my sister needs to do it again. It’s been so long since she drew anything and she used to love it.

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