How to draw a circle!!! [EASY BEGINNER TUTORIAL]

a black and white circle

My Rejected 2021 !!CON Talk Application


Everyone knows that writing code making art is easy! There are so many free resources available on the internet that becoming a programmer an artist has never been easier! In this talk I’ll demo several ways to make a todo list draw a circle! We’ll go through a variety of mediums to get you up-to-speed with new languages and frameworks mediums and methods in no time like:

  • Types of paper and surfaces
  • Overview of mediums (graphite, inks, acrylics, oils, and more!)
  • Performance Art (Dance, Theater, and Song!)
  • Digital Applications with live demo circles including:
    • Inkscape
    • Gnu Image Manipulation Program
    • Blender
    • p5.js
    • Krita
    • HTML & CSS
    • and whatever came out between this blurb and the event!

By the end of this talk you’ll be more confident than ever (and not at all overwhelmed!) by the prospect of how easy it is to become a programmer an artist in 2021!


  • (1-2 Minute mark): The first 1-2 minutes will be spent parodying the language/syntax/and visual style of several landing pages/blogs/paid courses etc. of non-free and free “learn to code” resources. This should be light and funny – the parody will be obvious – but we’re going to take this more seriously than mere parody (i.e. how hard can it be to draw a circle? We’ll take this seriously, though still in a playful/in-character way.)
  • (3-7 Minute mark): The bulk of the presentation will literally be demonstrating a multitude of ways to “simply” draw a circle.
    • I will actually have relevant asides about perfect circles (using a drafting compass) vs. sufficient circles (freehand strategies)
    • We’ll talk about these strategies in a variety of mediums (pen, paper, ink, etc.)
    • We’ll discuss the actual effect that different physical papers may have on the resulting shape (printer paper, canvas, etc.).
    • I’ll live demo the creation of a “simple” circle in a variety of free-software tools including Inkscape, Gimp, Krita, and Blender (and more as in the abstract). I will note that I will not be showing how to install these applications on your machines.
    • I’ll also discuss how to make these actually perfect circles created by software less perfect for artistic reasons (and show how to do that in each application).
  • (8-9 Minute mark): I’ll conclude with the same platitudes about how drawing a circle is easy and how the learning resources available to you today pale in comparison to what I had when I was learning to draw a circle decades ago.
  • (9-10 Minute mark): Break the fourth wall / drop character: I have a PhD in Fine Arts and I’m working on learning coding. I’ll close by noting that coding (like drawing a circle) can both be “easy” and “hopelessly confusing” based on previous knowledge and experience, and it’s important to regularly remind ourselves of this fact when working with, encouraging, and speaking to others. I hope this will help everyone consider this more strongly moving forward.

Intended audience

  • Learning to Code: If someone is learning to code (i.e. starting out) they’ve likely come across enough material to both understand and be painfully aware of the parody I’m doing and recognize the specific challenge can exist outside of the tech space too.
  • Actively Coding / Coding Mentors / Tech Bloggers, etc.: This group will, I hope, laugh at the title, laugh at the intro, and in the middle demo section realize that what they thought was easy (drawing a circle) has much more complexity too it then they thought, and have the parody hit home in a different way that changes their approach to new learners (and also themselves as tech is always changing).
  • Others: I think this is a balanced talk for everyone of all knowledge levels. At absolute worst, people will have a primer on how to draw a circle in a multitude of ways. That’s a pretty good worst outcome.

Short Bio

Kyle R. Conway has a PhD in Fine Arts, an MA in Theater, and experience at successful startup/incubators. He is a 10+ year Linux Desktop user (by choice) and Fedora Linux contributor. He likes tea.