Writers, Do You Also Do Art?

I’m curious about this.  If you’re a writer, do you also like to do your own art?  For example, character art, scenery, buildings, and even cover art.

I consider myself to be pretty decent at drawing, so I can do a lot of my own conceptual art, though I’m awful at doing faces.  I’m much better at landscapes, buildings, and still life.  I can also draw animals and plants fairly well.  But I always have trouble with people.  I’m good with pencils, but terrible with paint.  I also haven’t had much experience with digital art, as I prefer good old paper and pencil.  I will be doing a lot of art for my books, except for people.

If you can do art, what do you like to draw?

19 thoughts on “Writers, Do You Also Do Art?”

  1. Hello, good you mentioned this point. I do, and I can’t write without seeing my characters and/or settings. I prefer using pencils first, then uploading my drafts on Mac and keep working there. Drawback: it requires a lot of time. But it’s fun too.

  2. For me the art came first 😀 I always wanted to draw and write graphic novels, but didn’t have the patience for it.

    I am decent at people, but terrible at backgrounds! Still, it’s nice to be able to sketch out a character or scene from your own writing.

  3. I used to draw a lot and I have a portfolio. I actually got pretty good…but mainly at one thing: copying. I can copy a photograph or another piece of art (comic book characters, or realistic drawings, it doesn’t matter). I can also draw if I have a model to look at. However, when it comes to drawing straight out of my imagination… The results are terrible! It’s really frustrating because I’d LOVE to draw my characters but whenever I try I get the proportions all off.

    1. Yes, I have the same problem with people. I have terrible proportions. I’m pretty good at copying, but I also enjoy doing original scenery. I used to do that a lot when I was a kid.

  4. I love drawing, actually. I rarely show anyone my work – it’s more of a private, stress relief thing for me – but I sometimes doodle my characters after they’re fully formed in my head/on the page. I’m more of a people artist. Backgrounds are a bit boring, I think. 😛

  5. Yes, I draw too. I wouldn’t attempt cover art but I I enjoy mapping fictional locations for my novels (recently discovered that my uncle was a cartographer, so that must be inherited!) and will often do a sketch of a key location like the heroine’s home. I was pretty good at watercolours at one point but family life derailed that years ago so I’d be very rusty now.

  6. I used to be a decent sketcher, and even now I do some concept sketches for my actual artist because explaining things with words often doesn’t work when we’re talking about what I want out of a cover. But I never put in the time/dedication to become a proficient artist, and I’ve let the skills atrophy for a while. Most of my better concept art is 10+ years old now.

    1. I did some really good still life when I was in high school, but haven’t attempted it since then. The time required to do it is quite a bit. But I would love to just go out on a nice day and draw something I see. I need to do that before I leave Japan.

  7. I did a cover painting for one of my twin’s novels, but then we decided it wasn’t the right image, so we got something else instead. (Coming up with WHAT to have in a cover picture is more difficult than creating that picture.)

    I seem to have a knack for drawing buildings; I enjoy drawing them sometimes. I also do well with landscapes, trees, rocks, etc., but for drawing people (and animals), I need a model or picture to go by; I can’t draw a person based only on a description and have it look like the person it’s supposed to look like.

    As for what kind of drawing, painting, or whatever… I like lithographs. 🙂 There’s something satisfying about drawing on a slab of rock, etching the thing with acid, and then printing multiple copies of the drawing. Alas, I don’t have access to the necessary supplies for that anymore. (If I did, I’d make a “reproduction” of a picture one of my novel characters used to own.) I also enjoy other kinds of printmaking. I once made a map for a novel using a method called aquatint, which also involves acid etching, but on a metal plate, and it’s a lot safer because it uses a weak nitric solution (you can put your hands in the stuff) rather than the phosphoric acid for lithographs. Not all printmaking is dangerous, though. I think have a couple of small blocks for linocuts somewhere…

    1. Printmaking, huh? Interesting. I remember doing a little in art in junior high school, but we used lino and one of those curved knives for cutting the lino (can’t remember what it’s called). But it’s not something I’d want to try again. My specialty is pencil.

  8. I admit I hadn’t even considered drawing or doodling my characters. What a great thought! (I am soooooo linear!) You’ve inspired me yet again, Master Jay.
    What a great way to round out characters, scenes and plots. Would engage a whole other part of the brain and lead to lots of possibilities!

    I too have done a lot of mapping, and technical design work. And like some of your other commenters, I am great at copying. That’s the technician side of me. I’ve done pyrography, rock painting, feather painting, and wood carving, none of them relating to any writing I’ve done. Just enjoy it.

    I enjoy doodling with pencil. I found years ago that if I randomly start a scribble, soon my mind and imagination kick in and pretty soon I am creating something – from cartoons to wildlife to scenery. My subconscious just takes over, kind of like channeling my inner artist I guess.
    When I ever get to the place where I need to do cover art, even though I’ve done lots of graphics work, I believe I would work with a “real artist” to flesh it out.

    1. You got me thinking that I should just try out some doodling. I haven’t really done it much, but it might be a good way to practice drawing. I don’t get enough time to do that. I should keep a small notepad for things like this. You just inspired me, actually!

  9. I love to draw, though I’m fairly abysmal at it. I’m purely a sketch person and those sketches are of people. Backgrounds and landscapes are secondary. I love concentrating on movement of the body and character relations like through body language and facial expressions. I try to emulate in my sketches what I see in life. I doesn’t really pan out that way, typically hahah. I do it anyway.

    As far as landscapes, maps, the like – I tried to digitally design a map of my sci-fi world once with a program, I am not cut out for digital design. Even a little bit haha. I don’t mind, though. My strength lies in words for a reason.

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