SummerKnightsDraw 31 + Recap

The finale is here at last!

I’m excited to have made it all the way through the month with no missed days or late days. Really surprising to me because I presumed I’d eventually get distracted by a bright light or a squirrel or something. Never having done something like this before, I had no idea whether my attention span would ruin things or not – but it looks like we got to the end! So, fantasy-themed 31 drawings in 31 days – what did I learn along the way? I’ll talk about that in a minute, but first, the last drawing of all:

Day 31 – Villain
Who else but Venger from the Saturday morning D&D cartoon could fill this slot? Well, okay, I guess Warduke, or Lord Soth from Dragonlance, or Strahd, or Acererak, or Orcus, or Vecna… Alright. I suppose a lot of famous D&D bad guys exist, but I drew Venger and he’s also my only fully colored drawing. He was also drawn on the largest sketchbook I have and is about 12″ tall by about 7″ wide or so. All of the other drawings were about 7″ x 5″ at the maximum (as that’s the size of the pages of the sketchbook I filled with the SummerKnightsDraw doodles). I clearly have no idea what I am doing with my markers, and avoiding the lines and dark spots is tough for me. I’ll get there, I guess. Overall, I am pretty happy with how he turned out.

Alright. That’s that. All 31 drawings have been posted now. So, what did I learn along the way?

  • Drawing can be very hard if you have never really practiced it and want to jump into the deep end of creative fantasy ideas.
  • I don’t know how real artists can draw stuff so imaginatively all the time. The minds of creators are amazing to me. There were times I was just staring at a wall wondering what I should do for a non-boring idea.
  • Markers are unexpectedly fun and I am gonna buy a lot more and practice with them as time goes on. Hit me up with the sweet Copic-type marker tutorials, nerds! 
  • Cheap Chinese knockoff pigment liners are not worth the $5 discount, really; just buy real Unipins or Microns or whatever your preferred flavor is for a little bit more. Of my 11-pen copycat set, the 0.03mm fineliner had a bent needle point, the 0.3mm fineliner was too loose to use and will fall apart if held with the point down, the 0.5mm fineliner was also bent, and the 2mm chisel point was kind of dry. Also, randomly, most of the smaller sizes (0.05, 0.1, 0.2 especially) would just kinda stop producing a line for a split second and skip across the paper. Pain in the ass. Do not recommend.
  • I was shocked by how much I liked the super flexible fine brush tip pen. I did a few pieces heavily with it, like the map on Day 25 – Forest and the wanted poster for Day 30 – Half-Orc, and I was super happy the whole time. The variable line weight pleases a weird part of my brain. I have never been a painter and I am a very straightforward kind of person so I’ve always preferred pens and pencils over brushes of any kind. This was a surprise, but a welcome one. I’ll do more doodles with just a brush pen in the future, and practice with it.
  • It’s difficult for a rookie to do dynamic stuff or even just interesting/unusual static poses. This is where that “draw live models” and “practice a lot” advice comes in to play, I guess. 
  • Some of the pieces I was most proud of were not as successful on the subreddit as some that I considered sort of easy, low-effort ones. This is a terrible, useless metric to care about, but it makes me wonder what people did and did not like about Drawing X vs Drawing Y. Curious! 
  • I have so much practicing to do. 
For the record, here are my personal favorites from my contributions to the event:

I am not certain about what it is about some of them, but I like ’em anyhow. I’m sure I’ll eventually look back with great shame, but for now I am pretty proud of how these ones turned out. Hopefully you like them too! I draw just because I want to see what I imagine down on paper so other people can see too. One day I would like to be able to really get what I see in my brain onto paper, but for now I hope you can follow along with the gist of it and maybe feel a little inspired to adventure with some dice at the table!

Thanks to everyone who stuck around with me through this event and everyone who commented on my drawings on Reddit and Twitter. It was a huge motivation and I had a ton of fun doodling some D&D nonsense with so many other nerds. I appreciate you all!

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