“Practice makes perfect. After a long time practising, our work will become natural, skillful, swift and steady.”Bruce Lee
We are always told that if we want to become proficient at something then we must practice, practice and practice some more. The book Outliers: The Story of Success written by Malcolm Gladwell is the origin point of the 10,000-hour rule. He stated that “Researchers have settled on what they believe is the magic number for true expertise: 10,000 hours”.
To put 10,000 hours into context that equates to approximately 417 days. That means that if you were to practise for 3 hours per day that would equal approximately 3333 days or a little over 9 years. I think you have to take this timeframe with a grain of salt because I believe that you have to push yourself to improve during these hours, otherwise you will simply stagnate and your skill level will not increase despite putting in the hours.
With self-improvement and practise in my mind, I have decided to take it upon myself to become more confident and improve my drawing skills. I have decided to an emphasis on drawing as I have come to learn that communicating your ideas through drawing is a crucial element of practising architecture both in architecture school and professionally. I want to be confident in my ability to draw and refrain from reaching for the laptop and rendering softwares to develop my ideas.
I have worked on my drawing skills in the past by enlisting the support of an art tutor and I saw my skill level improve during this period. However, now that I have been offered the gift of time during these strange times I want to try and make drawing part of my daily routine.
Something that is helping me keep to this daily routine is the discovery of Kiyeon Kim who is an architect, designer and sketch lover. He has built up this huge library of ‘Draw With Me’ videos on both his Instagram and on Youtube. He has a distinctive style that I have come to enjoy emulating. I am getting into the habit of following one of his videos every day which is building my confidence to be able to draw architectural scenes.
He predominantly uses a fountain pen in his sketches which has a striking effect, however, I am not quite brave enough to go straight in with ink so I use a rOtring 0.5 mechanical pencil and then overlay that with a 0.1 uni-ball fineliner. Similarly to Kim, I use graphic marker pens, specifically Winsor & Newton Markers to add a layer of colour to the drawing. I have included links to all of my drawing implements below if you want to get your own.
rOtring Mechanical Pencils:
Winsor & Newton Promarker Set 1:
I have included some of my own sketches inspired by his videos below. I think it is a really good way to get into a habit of drawing and it is a lot easier than staring a blank page and struggling to see where to start.
Perhaps I have inspired you to start practising drawing or perhaps something else that you are interested in and want to see your skill level increase. Whatever it is, use this time to try and work at it and build it into your routine, once it is in there then it becomes second nature much like brushing your teeth. Start your 10,000-hour journey today.