Saturday, 9 November 2019

What are the most effective steps to learn Drawing? Simple answer, practice!

 Longer answer: There are three steps that you need to go through in order to draw well. Number 1 is observation, number 2 is understanding and number 3 is application.

    Observation - 80%+ of drawing well is observation. Learning to see the world around you with an artists eye. Dont look at a tree and say, I will draw that, then fail. Instead look at the tree in the context of the lanscape it is sitting in. Look at how the branches spread out from the center. See how many times the branches divide into smaller branches, is there a pattern? Squint your eyes and trry to decern - if you had to draw this tree using just 10 lines, which elements would you decide to show? Try to observe the angles of the branches in relation to the horizon, in relation to the trunk, in relation to each other. Does this tree lean to one side, was it wind-swept as a sappling? Or did a deer nibble the young shoots, leading to a deformity? I think you get the idea. Looking and seeing are two different things. To become an artist, regardless of medium you have to learn to observe.
    Understanding - If you tried to draw a face and realised it was looking flat or disproportioned. Or you drew a mouth and it looked like an almond instead of some juicy lips. Then, it is likely you do not understand what you are drawing. Try to understand the fundamentals of form. Learn that the mouth actually sits upon a barrel like structure of bone and muscle. Learn that the mouth is controlled by dozens of muscles. Learn that the bottom lip is generally thicker and more succulent than the top lip. Learn that a smile can change the whole shape of the mouth. The same applies to any object whether man made or natural. form follows function, try to understand what the function is and why the forms are the way they are. Then… you can draw a framework in order to add your sketch to.
    Application - Efficiency comes through practical application of knowledge, practical application comes from practice. The first time you draw a rabbit, it will suck! The second time it will look slightly better. By the 50th time, it will look so much better. Practice is key. But be sure you are practicing the right things. Dont spend six weeks drawing a box, instead draw a page or two of boxes, then find something that has an underlying form of a box, then draw that object. Later go back and draw some more boxes. The idea, is that you need to learn and practice many different aspect of drawing in order to well… draw well! But unless you apply that knowledge and learn from that experience you will not progress as fast as you possibly could

Draw a lot.

Don't be precious about materials. Don't use fancy art board or moleskines. Get a big newsprint pad or a stack of cheap legal pads from Staples. You want to draw as much and as quickly as possible, without being worried about wasting expensive paper

Draw fearlessly.

Use a pen or Sharpie. No erasers, no correcting fluid. Fill the page completely as fast as you can. Use loose scribbles and gestures. Don't sweat details. Use The Force -- let go your feelings, young Skywalker. Get it right the first time or start over. Try to push each drawing to completion, but if you're really not happy with where it's going, toss it in the recycling and move on. Also try drawing without looking at the page. Get ready to be pleasantly surprised by the result.

Draw light, not objects.

Squint your eyes at the scene until all you can see are big blobs of light and dark. Draw those. Try to ignore boundaries of objects; let those emerge from the natural boundaries of light and shadows.

Draw repetitively.

Get a stack of 3x5 index cards. Set up a simple still-life, a bowl of fruit or whatever, and draw it on every single index card. Do it from different angles, distances, etc. Use simple lines and don't spend more than two minutes on each one.

Draw fast.

Give yourself thirty seconds to do an entire scene. Use big newsprint and a Sharpie. Ignore details. Use wide, loopy gestures. This is an especially important exercise when you get started drawing people, where it's easy to obsess about faces or hands or feet without ever getting to the overall pose. One out of ten 30-second drawings you do will be amazingly good.

Draw everything.

Bowls of fruit and people are always nice, but try drawing whatever's around: rocks, tangled computer cables, a brick wall, a rumpled bedsheet, wrappers and packaging, flaking paint, a movie poster, other works of art, a comic book page, an eggbeater, the underside of a table. Imitate other artists you admire. Copy your favorites as exactly as possible.

There's no such thing as "talent."

Everybody who draws well got there by practicing, practicing, practicing, formally or informally. The only thing that separates you from the masters is the Gladwellian ten thousand hours. Get to it, and have fun.

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