Month: June 2017

Adventures in Programming – 01

Welcome to the first episode of Adventures in Programming! In today’s article, I’m going to discuss what inspired me to get into software programming and what steps I’ve taken to start learning.

Start of My Ambition

For the longest time, I could never figure out what I wanted to do with my life. When I was a teenager, the last thing I would ever catch myself thinking about seriously was my future. I was one of those guys who would look like a deer caught in the headlights whenever I was asked the classic question: Where do you see yourself in x years?. This had a negative effect on my personal life. I fell behind on my studies in High School. In retrospect I guess I just didn’t see much of a point to try if I didn’t even know what I wanted to do with my life. It wasn’t until after my first attempt at college that I started discover what I wanted to do with myself.

 

As I mentioned in my intro post for the site, I’ve always held an interest in computers. At times I’ve thought of becoming a graphic designer, but those musings never took hold. I’ve also have been a gamer since I was little, so I guess what really gravitated me towards software development was the opportunity to learn how to build videos games of my own. Over time I’ve become more and more curious about what makes computer hardware and software work. So a lifelong hobby ended up being what propelled me to plot out a path for my future.

 

Learning Programming

I started off my journey in learning programming by looking up tutorials for various languages online. One site that I was recommended was Learn C++ . Learn C++ is a completely free site that provides detailed tutorials on learning the programming language C++.

C++ is a rather difficult language for beginners to start with. While I didn’t get too far in Learn C++’s lessons, I did learn some really crucial basics to computer programming that were helpful to me. Like, downloading an operating an Integrated Development Environment to assist with my coding, the concept of language syntax. Later on I was introduced to another tutorial site known as Learning Python the Hard Way. This site covers a completely different programming language known as Python.

 

Python is a much easier language for beginners, although it can be a bit too easy and runs the risk of making more complex languages a bit difficult to get into. What I really like about Python the Hard Way is how the author explains his methodology for teaching material very clear and concise. You follow every lesson example to the letter in order to impart techniques for coding in Python much more effectively. And build good habits for programming in general. Instead of using a development environment like I mentioned before, the site teaches you to code using a combination of a text editor and the Command Line Interface. Luckily, the site includes a helpful tutorial for CLI in case you’ve never used it before.

In Closing

I decided to go through Python the Hard Ways lessons in the meantime while waiting to eventually start the classes directly related to my major in college. It’s good to get my feet wet in the process as soon as I can aim to be in the top of my field.

I’m really excited to learn as much as I can about software programming. More episodes like this will come to chronicle my experiences in learning. As always, thank you for reading, and be sure to check back often!

 

 

Class is in Session!

I just wanted to make a short update to mention that my first class for my first session at my University has started earlier today. I’ve finally taken my first step in achieving my Bachelor’s in software development so I’m pretty pumped up right now. I’ve already done a lot of preliminary work, and I managed to score some free credits by doing an acceleration test for one of my courses. Since I passed, I won’t have to take comp101 or it’s lab material, meaning that I can get to the real meat of my degree even faster.

Of course, preparing for attendance at a new college has been rather time consuming, so updates on my Adventures series has unfortunately been rather slow. While I love working on this blog, classwork takes top priority. Fortunately, I’ve gotten most of my work out of the way early, so tomorrow I’ll have the opportunity to release the first episode of Adventures in Programming, so be sure to look forward to that. In the first episode, I’ll be discussing what inspired me to pursue programming as a skill and what steps I’ve taken to get my feet under the water, including some very helpful resources and tutorials.

Until next time…

 

Email + Social Media

As my last update for today, I’d like to post some brief contact info for anybody who wants keep updated

You can contact my through Email with paintotk@gmail.com

I also have a Twitter account, and Pinterest.

I have added this info to the About/Contact section of the site’s menu. Expect more to come as time goes on!

Pokémon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon

Yesterday, a brand new mainline Pokémon title was announced during Nintendo’s Pokémon Direct! The games are called Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon and will be enhanced versions of last year’s Sun & Moon releases with new content and story changes.

Watch Here

I’ve been a pretty big Pokemon fan since the beginning with Pokémon Red & Blue, so you can bet that I’m totally psyched to play it in November. I can’t wait to draw some great fanart for it, too!

Adventures in Art – 01

Welcome to my very first episode of Adventures in Art! Sorry this came a bit later than expected, I had to make sure the preparations for my semester starting next week were in order.

 

Adventures in Art – Episode 1

 How I Got Started

    I’d say a good place to start chronicling my study of drawing is to explain how I started getting into the craft! I started actual self-study of drawing late last year when I was introduced to some nice drawing tutorials. One of which being a tutorial on how to draw faces by the skilled alexds1 on devianart. I’ve tried teaching myself to draw when I was a teenager but I didn’t really look at tutorials and just went by eye. I usually would stop when I realized I had no idea how to draw hands and would give up.

What I’ve Learned so Far

   The critical thing I learned when I started following alexds’s tutorials is that the key to being a good artist is to start by drawing basic shapes to act as a foundation of what you want to draw. Too often, new artists like myself will fall into a trap called “symbol drawing”, in which you try to draw an object from your memory of what it should look like. This causes your art to look very awkward since you don’t know how to render your art in a way that accurately portrays your intended object. In order to start learning to draw effectively, you have to realize a very basic rule of observation: Start seeing every object as being built up of several basic shapes, rather than just the object itself. Hands used to be a very daunting task for me but once I learned how to start drawing from foundation, I became much more comfortable with them.

   This is covered very early on in Andrew Loomis’s Drawing the Head & Hands. The best way to start drawing a human head is to begin with a simple circle! It doesn’t even half to be a perfect one, just suitable to begin the foundation of the skull. Breaking everything you observe down to its basic elements is the key to developing approaches to render on paper. It’s unanimous lesson in all the tutorials I’ve checked out so far.

If you’re a visual learner and want to see how these techniques are applied first hand, you may want to view some video tutorials. I great site I discovered is https://www.ctrlpaint.com . It’s mainly centered around teaching you how to draw digital art, but the early lessons teach you how to draw traditionally (after all, how do you expect to draw well with a computer if you can’t on paper?).

Some of My Early Art

To finish, I’m going to show you how this sources helped influence my start as an artist by posting some sketches I made:

 

They may look rather amateur at this point, but I’m still really proud! As they say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, so every step forward no matter how small is important.

Until next time…