This Morning I made one of my ASMR drawing videos. What is ASMR you ask? Basically it’s a tingling feeling some people get in their head that’s triggered by sound, sight, or some such. You can read about it on Wikipedia:

Though I’ve had the sensation all my life I only discovered its name last year (the name is new anyway) at the same time I discovered that there were people who called themselves “ASMT Artists” and posted videos on YouTube that were designed to stimulate ASMR. Lot’s of sounds, skits, soft voices, and strange noises. Some of them work for me and some of them don’t but overall I enjoy the videos. They can be relaxing all on their own without the ASMR.

It was through watching some of these videos that I discovered that a trigger for some people was the sound of a pencil or marker on paper. Since I draw a lot I don’t even notice the sound very much so it never even occurred to me that it could be a trigger. But since I had wanted to make some videos of me drawing it encouraged me to figure out how to. Due to the ASMR angle I ended up deciding to make short videos of me drawing spontaneously with a marker or a pencil.

It’s not easy making a video of making art in general. At least it’s not easy making an interesting video. Making art isn’t a performance so it usually goes very slowly. It often takes me hours and hours to make a finished drawing. Even one that’s simple. Nobody is going to want to watch that. I find condensed time drawings pretty unwatchable too. Those are the ones where they speed up the film so that two hours passes in two minutes. I’m just not a fan of that technique. So I went with ten or fifteen minute drawings with no under drawing or erasing. I put marker to paper and just go.

I found markers pretty easy to use in that situation but pencils have always been a bit tricky. The marker makes a dark and bold line that the camera picks up well but the pencil is light and harder to make a definitive mark with. The whole key to the type of drawing that I’m doing in these videos is to make a line and don’t look back. But with a pencil looking back is the norm. A light line is the norm. It’s tough to make a dark never-gonna-erase-it line with a pencil. I found a Wolff’s Carbon pencil worked pretty well for that but I had to bear down fairly hard and that would make the pencil squeak rather unpleasantly. I switched over to a 6B graphite pencil for some of the drawings but had to bear down even harder. That make drawing a little fatiguing.

With this particular drawing, “Seconds in Seconds” I used a Pitt big brush pen. That’s not a marker I normally use for these videos. As I wrote before sound is a big part of the ASMR effect so that I prefer to use markers that make a good noise with the paper. I find that Sharpie markers are good for that. They get some good friction with the paper and therefore make a noise as I sweep it across but never squeak or anything like that. I don’t always like a Sharpie tip though as they can put down a little more ink than I want them to and give me too much ink spread. Still I’ve done a lot of ASMR drawings with them. For a finer tip marker I’ve gone to both a Copic and ShinHan marker. I prefer the ShinHan because the barrel fits my hand better but both tips are pretty much the same.

I normally draw in black marker but this morning decided on blue. No reason. Just a whim. Brush markers are quieter than regular markers so I knew I would have to draw a little differently to make some noise. Long sweeping lines and short parallel lines are good for noise in general. I like drawing faces. This one was almost one of my regular “Looking right at you” faces but after I put down the first line I decided to change it to a profile shot. I have no idea why except that I’ve drawn a few face lately and wasn’t in the mood to do that again. I made that first line with every intention of making a straight on shot but then veered off into a weird sideways chin shape that I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with but knew I couldn’t make a straight on shot out of. That’s part of making these spontaneous drawings. I have to challenge myself with some things so I don’t make the same drawing over and over. That’s what would happen if I mindlessly followed my tendencies.

I kept the background to a minimum on this one. That’s also unusual. Often with these I fill up the background to the point that it’s tough to tell the positive space from the negative space. It’s all about flattening the space so that it’s in your face. But here I put most everything into the foreground face. It’s got lots of patterns and lines while the background is literal. The background has a sun, some water, and just a few design elements. Often I pack the background full of little faces and figures but here we have none. Sometimes picking an unusual tool, such as the brush pen for me, makes you not follow your usual tendencies. That can be a good thing if you’re looking to break out of a box.

I finished up the drawing with some hatching on the face and nose. I’m not sure if that gives him a bit of a shadow or a sunburn but I like the way it came out. Once again probably because it’s not something I usually do. The lines aren’t even particularly well executed but in this context they work just fine. Overall I like the blue and I like the profile. I also like the forest on top of his head. It’s weird. I like weird.

Have a look: