Thursday, December 6, 2012

Learning to draw, and then draw on a regular basis

The other day, a friend told me that she wanted to be able to draw. I asked her what she was doing about it and she said she didn’t know how to proceed. So how does one learn to draw? And how does one keep drawing regularly? Here are 7 steps (in no particular order) that I can think of. Sketchbook

1. Just start

Drawing does not need to involve a complex scene or objects. Even if we draw a cup, a ball, a box or even a pencil, it is good practise.

2. Practise, practise, practise – 15 minutes a day

I read a lot about drawing and nothing compares to practising. Often, the theory that I have read only became clear sometime later. It is great when I am drawing and the clarity strikes, and I think “aha, now I understand what the author was trying to say”. My drawings are not as good as many that I have seen around, but with practice, I am improving every time.

I came across a suggestion in an art book to set aside a least 15 minutes a day to draw. What a great idea - it's a short time, but it is enough to complete a drawing.

3. Attend a class (Duh, everyone knows this…)<

Unless you are someone who has the inclination to learn on your own, you might like to consider joining a class. If you are a beginner, you will gain valuable information that will provide you with the essential foundation in art such as proportions, perspective, etc. And if you are not a beginner, you may learn new ways and new techniques that may help push your drawing to another level.

4. Join a drawing group/draw with friends

Drawing alone is not as fun as drawing with others, and requires discipline. Consider getting together with some friends to draw, or join a sketching group.

5. Carry a sketchbook

Having a sketchbook with you all the time will enable you to take advantage of any free 15 minutes crops up (see no. 2). Be sure to also carry a few pens or pencils too.

6. Participate/submit your images to memes

There are groups on the internet that enables one to connect with fellow artists. Examples of these are blogs such as Creative Every Day and Paint Party Friday. Another one is Illustration Friday which has a weekly theme, which may be great if you are not sure what to draw.

7. Having fun/letting go

I used to try to make every page of my sketchbook “count”, and would get upset if a drawing didn’t look good. I have covered up bad drawings by pasting blank papers over them. I have seen friends rip out pages of unsuccessful work.

Now, I have learnt to let go and just enjoy the moment. Splash ink or paint to improve your drawing. Add other materials to turn it into a collage. It may end as a good piece of work or it may be a mess. It doesn't matter - just have fun. At least that way, it becomes a positive experience and you will look forward to drawing, and having a great time again.

These are a few steps that help me. Please feel free to add your suggestions.

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