Learning to draw on a weekend

Tan Jun Rong avatar

Tan Jun Rong

I made Android program for a living, but I'm always amazed by how well people can draw. I'm currently working for a company making Recipe app. They think cooking can connect people, and make people happy.

I think drawing can do the same too. A dull story can turn into an interesting one, with a few drawings. The correct drawing can convey a compelling message.

So I decided to learn how to draw.

Well, actually I just want to draw something, and wanted to make it sound cool...

I've always like to doodle stuff on a piece of paper.

But I'm always stuck at this stickman level.

This weekend I decided that it's time to level up.

Tools: Mischief

I bought the license for Sketch app a while back, so I tried to draw using it. Then I realize it's pretty hard to draw using Sketch, I think it's more suitable for drawing mockup.

In Sketch, it doesn't have brushes and freehand drawing doesn't feel good, because it resorts back to manipulating the nodes at the end.

After some googling, I found Mischief for Mac, a free hand drawing app. Since it's free I downloaded the free version and started to draw something.


I always thought drawing being something that is completely different from my programming world I know. Truth is drawing is pretty scientific and requires a lot of analytical skill, not too different from my technical world after all.

After locking down a tool. I'm pretty excited to draw something. Looking at their awesome website... I felt like I want to draw a series of cartoon or something...

all drawing software websites show some amazing artwork

here's a few random artwork from Mischief website:

I'm motivated!
launch mischief
start drawing
just finished interstellar recently, so I'm going to draw an astronaut

first attempt:

not quite as fancy as I imagine

After some investigation... a.k.a. googling for astronaut's images.
I find out that:

head to body ratio affects the cuteness

I tried to shrink the body a little:

It's really cuter!

So I try to shrink it further

It's cuter'er now 😏 😎


I tried putting some colors. It's tough...

Too much cute astronaut, so I decided to draw a villain this time.

A cunning guy with tall hat.

I put some color on and they look really dull. So I tried to put on some shadow and shading, and it looks weird...

So I investigate a little again.. I found out that there's actually something called the light source. It's like imagining that you are flashing the light from left, so the shadow should be towards the right.

Imagine a face, if the light is from above, the shadow should be below. Also, shadow is only applicable to areas that are blocking the light source. Say, the neck area for example.

Asides from shadow, I also need to decide if my art should be 2d or 3d'ish, that determines the way I place the shadow.

At the end, I decided to watch some Netflix, so I didn't finish the shadow part.

Bonus rocket

Here's another rocket I drew.

Partially colored:

Bonus caveman

What's Next

Somethings to learn on my next session.

  • learn how to use Mischief properly
  • better coloring
  • drawing background - rocks maybe...

hope you enjoyed the post! 🌻🎨✏️

Tan Jun Rong avatar
Written By

Tan Jun Rong

Android Programmer who likes writing blogs, reading, coffee, snowboarding.
Published in Design
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