Chris Padilla/Blog / Notes

How To Make (Anything) In 3 Steps

I came across Ctrl + Paint recently, another great and nearly free resource for learning to draw.

They have a fantastic video on how to draw anything in a few steps:

Watch on Youtube

The steps are:

  1. Research and gather reference
  2. Study in context (breaking down the construction of the object)
  3. Practice (playing with the form, mixing and matching elements)

The glossed over step 0 is to understand the foundations: "How to render form and light." No small step! But, once you have the vocabulary in place, that's how you handle drawing something new from imagination.

A recurring theme on ol' Chris D Padilla dot com is that everything is the same! Here, for example, is how Clark Terry talks about learning to play and be creative in jazz:

  1. Imitate
  2. Assimilate
  3. Innovate

And hey, here it is for developing in a new programming language:

  1. Read documentation/forum posts/books
  2. Build a few sample apps
  3. Stray off and build a more complex, custom app

The trick behind it, and why the title of Ctrl + Paints video skews just a smidge click-baity, is that each step takes time. The reward, though, is that when you're comfortable with this process, you literally can make just about anything. No need to know everything before starting a project, and no need to master everything right away. Just follow the cycle, and iterate from there.