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"How can people tell what my drawings are supposed to be? They're just lines."

I seriously think this ALL THE TIME. It amazes me that humans have the ability to fill in so much information by looking at a few lines on paper. How do we do that?

I still think my comics would be better if they were about punks. I love drawing punks. Skin Horse is mostly full of things that are hard to draw, like dogs, women's clothing, and tiltrotor aircraft. I probably should have planned that better.

7 comments:
Mark Chapman (aardvark86) says:

I'd cheerfully read a strip by you featuring half-naked punk chicks :-), but somehow your much self-deprecated art conveys living, breathing, engaging characters. How do you do that?

And yeah, having tried a bit of drawing recently on dA, I have to agree that everything is hard to draw...

Leon Arnott (l) says: Sunday:

Funnily enough, it turns out that all of these thoughts were had while in the act of drawing each panel of today's episode in which they're portrayed.

I remember this episode in particular being quite adorable when I first read it. I don't really know why I thought the best line was "You know what's hard to draw? / Everything." when clearly the acid-trip revelation that "they're just lines" is the best line.

I suppose it's a bit of a shame that for most Internet people Hokusai is known mostly for making Dream of the Fisherman's Wife (and possibly the Great Wave as well).
David Harmon (mental_mouse) says:

"How can people tell what my drawings are supposed to be? They're just lines."

OK, *that* one is clearly just exhaustion -- when you stare at anything long enough, or repeat a word or name long enough, it starts to look or sound meaningless....

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

"How can people tell what my drawings are supposed to be? They're just lines."

You could say a painting is just blotches of color, too ... until you watch something like this (be sure to stay all the way to the end):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIJtKxdRQzY&NR=1

'Keiya' (keiya) says:

I think the reason we can tell what 'just lines' are is because we basically use them in interpreting the real world. Subconscious processes that are part of recognizing objects - a vital skill for, you know, not trying to eat a Golden Poison Frog (enough poisons, on average, to kill ten to twenty full grown humans!) because you thought it was a (slightly less toxic) Chicken McNugget - find edges and use those. And they're fairly flexible at pattern matching, to be able to determine that eating that Phantasmal Poison Frog is probably a bad idea too.

So, basically, you're feeding enough information for object recognition with just the lines. If you /really/ want to understand how it works, go read up on things like Lucy, an orang-utan robot that learned to distinguish between a banana and an apple. Fascinating stuff.

Jon Stout (brasswatchman) says: So can I just go on the record as saying that you're far too self-conscious about your work, and leave it at that?
Chris Maloof (cjmaloof) says:

"Hokusai's full of crap!" is one of my favorite lines by you ever.

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The education bestowed on Shaenon K. Garrity by her parents had been expensive, athletic and prolonged. ... full profile