Learning to Draw

So, I decided to learn how to draw.  How did that happen?

I recently updated my amazon wishlist for a friend who wanted some ideas for my birthday. Among a few other things I realized that Betty Edwards’ “Drawing on the right side of the brain” was still on there.

A few years back I put it on there because it was repeatedly referenced in Andy Hunt’s “Refactor Your Wetware. Pragmatic Thinking and Learning” and I was intrigued by the neuro-psychological approach.

It is targeted to people who believe they can not draw and never will be able to. That pretty much is me. I kept it on the list and promised myself, if I get it, I will learn to draw.

Well, I got it. Here I am, learning to draw.

Motivation

Expression

There are a few reasons why I actually want to learn how to draw but certainly the most important is that I want to be able to express my thoughts. In my life there have been several moments where I was not able to express my ideas in an easy to understand way where a short sketch would have made all the difference. If I knew how to draw one.

Want a recent example? Okay, I’ll embarrass myself.

ShirtSketch

This is a sketch on my whiteboard where I tried to explain my wife a design for a new top she should create. She knows me quite well so she got what I had in mind but it took time.

It is meant to be a tight fitting shirt / blouse with a transparent cutout in feather / wings optics and a repetition of the theme on the sleeves. You can get the concept from the sketch but in my mind it looks quite different.

Creative outlet

While I was never good at drawing, I always had creative outlets in my life. From (artistic) circus shows to storytelling in role-play games over cooking to writing and of course coding.

I am not in the shape for artistic shows anymore (something I eventually want to change again). Being burned out a little on writing, coding and role-playing, I want to give drawing a chance. Do I want to become an artist? No. I will leave that to talents like Harlequin But it might be something for every now and then, when the other ways to express my creativity don’t work.

Where do I go from here?

I just finished drawing the first three ‘images’. They are part of the pre-course preparations to be able to compare them to the results after reading and working through the book. I won’t publish them now but most likely once I’m done to show the before – after comparison.

I won’t be reading or drawing every day and more importantly I probably won’t post about it that often. Only important milestones or when I feel like writing 😉

Windows Commandline Tools

Since I am usually doing most development on my Linux Laptop a decent commandline interface is something I want on windows as well. Most of this setup is inspired by this totally tooling tip.

The windows powershell on its own is quite powerful already but can be enhanced quite a bit.

Setting powershell up

Most enhancements to powershell come as modules. With PSGet you they can be managed easily. But to be able to run modules, the execution policy has to be set to allows external modules.

Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned

After that the command from PSGet installs the module manager.

(new-object Net.WebClient).DownloadString("http://psget.net/GetPsGet.ps1") | iex

Microsoft has a Knowlagebase article about the execution policy

Setting powershell up

Most enhancements to powershell come as modules. With PSGet you they can be managed easily. But to be able to run modules, the execution policy has to be set to allows external modules.

Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned

After that the command from PSGet installs the module manager.

(new-object Net.WebClient).DownloadString("http://psget.net/GetPsGet.ps1") | iex

Microsoft has a Knowlagebase article about the execution policy

Git integration

Posh provides comandline integration for my favorite version control system and can be installed with:

Install-Module posh-git

Now powershell provides tap completion for git and a custom prompt once in a folder with a git repository.

SSH

My Servers usually run on Unix as well so I have to connect to them via SSH. In the past I used putty on windows but it has grown a bit old.

While Microsoft is planing SSH support for Powershell for the future, I wanted it now and there is a module for that too: POSH-SSH

Again it is installed with a one liner that you copy from their page.

The modules Author has written a nice article about how to use it.

Cmder

A really nice collection of powershell modules, skins and a way to have taps, split the window in multiple consoles and so on is cmder. The draw back is that their modules are not signed and you have to lower the rules of the execution policy even further.