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I’ve always been working on apps that had a graphics/UI designer on staff, so I mostly either implemented their specification and wireframes and always had someone to help me with any design related tasks. I often made icons myself since they were relatively easy to do, but I’ve never done anything more than drawing a few simple shapes and filling them with colors (flat icons).

A few days ago I started drawing some sketches in photoshop and tried following a few tutorials and the end result, considering that I had never done it before, is not THAT terrible. I wouldn’t call it good, it’s nowhere near good, but it is not as abysmal as I would have surely told you if you asked me before this experiment.

You just need the force of will to come out of your shell.

  1. Find an image of something you like and download it.
  2. Open photoshop side to side with the image.
  3. Try drawing it slowly. (You can use smoothing if you feel like the lines are not rounded enough.)


A few tips for the drawing itself:

  • Create a background layer and make it dark gray (here I’m assuming you’re using a black color brush)
  • Use ⌘⌥Z to undo ( ⌘Z toggles your latest action on and off )
  • Try making just a sketch, you don’t need to draw everything in details

After you have finished your “first draft drawing” you can go over it with colors. Before doing that create a new layer so you are able to toggle it on and off to see the underlying sketch.

The mouse is a hassle to use

I found myself wanting a graphics tablet to draw. The mouse is a really bad device for it, but since I don’t draw often I didn’t feel it was worth it for now. If this experiment is going to repeat itself and I find myself willing to draw more often it’s going to be something I will seriously consider.

You can definitely do it with a mouse, but both the end result and your experience doing it will feel subpar.

A few of the tutorials I followed:

2D Art for Games - Character 2D Art for Games - Character2 2D Art for Games Sword 2D Landscape

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Valentino Urbano



Valentino Urbano

iOS Developer, Swift, Writer, Husband

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