Learn How to Draw
Learning to draw is not only fun, it can also be an awakening experience. Fortunately anybody can learn to draw. And so can you, no matter what your age, your professional background and your situation are.
Learn How to DrawLearning to draw is not only fun, it can also be an awakening experience. Fortunately anybody can learn to draw. And so can you, no matter what your age, your professional background and your situation are. Learning to draw is nothing else than learning to use your eyes. It sounds easier than it is, so it's tempting to fall back on mere copy work. However, copying other drawings or pictures is not the best way to develop your drawing skills. Instead you should prefer drawing real scenes first containing simple objects, later more complicated things like animals and people.If you want to learn how to draw skillful and beautiful pictures, or want to become more creative, then you should read on. I will show you the important stations on your way to drawing masteryThe most important prerequisite you need for learning to drawing is not some special material or equipment but your motivation. Especially when beginning you will face obstacles and setbacks. Also you may be afraid of failure. The more motivated you are the easier it is to overcome these problems and move constantly along the road to success.Another important point is understanding your subject. The better you know and understand what you are drawing, the better you can bring it to paper. You'll see: once you learned to recognize and grasp your subject's dimensions and fabric and the objects that are composing the scene you are capturing, drawing them in the proper dimensions, proportions and perspective will get much easier.Drawing is craftsmanship to a certain extent. To create great drawings you need to know how to create shadings, get your lines and shapes in form etc. Building on a solid foundation of these skills helps you to focus your attention away from the mechanics of drawing towards the creative part. In the fourth part I'll show you several exercises that will help you to practice these basic techniques.So what makes up a good artist beyond these basic skills? Mainly years of experience that result in countless small ideas, techniques and concepts all picked up intuitively and hidden in the artist's subconscious. That's one important reason great artists are not automatically great art teachers.Of course experience will come only with time, but the fifth part contains tips and tricks that will be a shortcut for your drawing career.The following parts of this course will cover these topics. So they'll be giving you the knowledge necessary to start a learning path that will lead to great results and of course: great drawings.How to Keep Motivation and Overcome FearWhat's the biggest challenge most beginning artists face? They are afraid to make mistakes! Even experienced artists often struggle with their own insecurity. Finally these feelings are the reason for most artist's blocks - be it conscious or subconscious.You experience the same problems? No need to worry, this main obstacle to your drawing success can be overcome. When Learning to Draw - think about yourselfWell, to be honest it is not that easy. The first step is to relax and make yourself clear, there is no need to be afraid of failure! You don't have to prove anything to anyone. Your drawings are for you as long as you don't want to show them to others. Before you read on, take some minutes and think about this!Ok, what are your conclusions? Perhaps you recognized, that you are most afraid to fail before yourself? For this problem I will show you a recipe later.Drawing Failures You can AvoidThe next important thing to do, when starting your drawing endeavors is to reduce your risk of failure. Just follow these two important steps:1. Choose easy subjects! I know it is tempting to start drawing complicated subjects - a portrait of a beloved person or nice sceneries you have seen recently. But this will inadvertly lead into failure unless you are a natural genius. Your drawing skills need time and practice to develop. So start with simple subjects. Copy other drawings, photos or simple still lives. Prefer subjects that consist of straight lines over complicated curved shapes.2. Choose easy techniques for your drawings! Don't use colored pencils right from the start. Don't aim for creating photo-realistic drawings right from the beginning. Start small, first try to capture only outlines and proportions of your subject. Concentrate on the simplest parts and leave all the shading, texturing etc. for later.Make Constant Progress in Learning DrawingThird you must make sure you make constant and regularly progress. Two tips how to achieve this:1. Drawing a few minutes each day help more than only drawing through the whole weekend. I myself struggle to follow this advise much too often, but I learned it the hard way how necessary constant practicing. So try to find a few minutes every day for drawing. 2. Don't be afraid to repeat drawings! Something went wrong? The best reason to start over again and to repeat this drawing. But don't overdo until you are bored by drawing. Instead try to find a new approach each time you are drawing the same subject. Try different interpretations, different angles, different light conditions etc.Silence the Drawing Critic Within YouAnd now the most important tip. Your fear of failure is most probably to a large extend the fear to fail before yourself. So you need to silence the critic every one has within oneself.Well actually it is very difficult to silence this critic completely. So use this trick: Every time you want to start to criticize yourself, every time you feel your critic trying to spring into action, tell him: "Later!". Store the drawing in away and have a look at it a few months later. What happens then? When you take your drawing again and begin to criticize, it is some months old. Usually you'll see it isn't as bad as you thought. And if it was not that perfect, it cannot hit your self-confidence. When you followed these tips, you know: during the last months you have improved that much you don't need to worry about mistakes you made months ago!Learn Drawing FasterSilencing your critic works best if you can really make sure your progress is regular and continually. Besides the tips I told you can additionally boost your progress by getting a some good exercise books or practices on DVD. But this is another chapter.Learn Drawing the POSItive WayOne of the most important things to learn when learning to draw is understanding the process almost every artist uses to fill a blank sheet of paper with more and more lines until she finished the drawing. Although seemingly complicated this process consists of several separate tasks. Most artists follow intuitively these separate tasks step-by-step in the right order. Unfortunately when starting to learn drawing, you lack the experience to follow this strategy by instinct. But instead of waiting for the necessary experience, you can use the following shortcut. I created a system around this process most artists understand and follow intuitively. It consists of four steps: Placement Outlines Shapes Illumination. These four steps are quite simple and follow the common process to create a drawing. I abbreviated this system P-O-S-I - a POSItive way to learn drawing.So let's get started:1. Placement of Objects in Your Drawing This is the first step. Have a look at the whole scene, identify the different objects in the scene and try to understand the scene. Focus on the different objects' locations and their position relative to one another. Finally if you think your understanding of the scene is good enough, mark on your paper where you want to place the different objects.Try to be as accurate as possible unless you already have some competence in the art of composition. Advanced artists know how to alter the scene for a stronger impression without disturbing realism at the same time.2. Drawing Outlines of the Different ObjectsNow you know where to place the objects it is time to sketch them as simple outlines. Look carefully at each part of the scenery and try to understand its form and outline. Then draw its outline - only the silhouette - in a few light lines. Limit yourself to the outer lines of each object. Repeat this step for every object in the scene. Ideally you start with objects in the background and continue to the foreground parts.After finishing the outline of the whole scene this way, it is time to have a final judging look (but not too judging tough!). Now it is still easy to reposition any object or to correct one or another line. But don't be excessively critical and keep in mind: every good drawing lives from slight deviations.3. Draw the Shape of the Different PartsNow it is time to turn our attention to the objects' shapes. Begin to add the internal structures of the scene's parts with few and fine lines. Place strokes in the right directions to follow and form the shape of the parts of every object. For curved objects use curved lines and in flat sections use straight lines. But still limit you to few and light lines. Just try to get the shapes right. As there are still only thin lines on the paper you have still the opportunity to correct a line here and there.Finally your picture has gained a stronger perspective and three-dimensional appearance. Time to fill out the white spaces and complete your drawing!4. Illuminate your DrawingUntil now we only worked on laying out the scene using light lines. Sketching the outlines and shapes of all objects in the scene we created a line drawing that depicts the scenes outlook reliably. But for creating realism something is missing: texture, light and shadow. In this final step we will fill in these elements that give volume to our drawing and finally make it look realistic. So in this step our opportunities for creating a great drawing are great but also is the risk of damaging it beyond repair.What to do? Again look carefully at each part of the scene. Note how light and shadow fall on it, how its surfaces are textured and what the colors look like. Most important is the surface - because even if a surface is all one color, its structure and texture creates different shades.The same applies to shadows. Look how the objects cast shadows on themselves and on objects around them. Add these shadows by first drawing their outline, correcting and perfecting it and then filling it with darker tones.When adding all the shades and textures to your drawing always try to work from the background to the foreground. While doing this go from brighter tones and weak contrasts in the background to strong tones and contrasts in the foreground. This creates a stronger three-dimensionality.With this final step you finished you drawing. Go one step back and enjoy. And keep in mind: if the little critic in you comes to life, put your drawing away, the more you will enjoy it in a few months!These Practices Improve Your Drawing SkillsWhen you learn to draw, soon you recognize: a big part of this art is mere technique and craftsmanship. When you are proficient in the basic techniques, your creativity can rely on these basic. This leaves you more freedom to develop your drawing skills and imagination instead of concentrating on getting the basic techniques right.So it's a good idea to practice these basic drawing techniques regularly. Especially when you are beginning to learn to draw, much practice of these basic techniques will speed up your drawing success. Learn to Draw Hatchings and cross-hatchingsHatching means to draw many parallel lines close together. In difference to normal shading the lines must not touch each other! Although there is still white space between the lines they form to an area seemingly shaded densely. Cross-hatching goes one step further. When you are doing cross-hatching you to overlay one set of hatching with another set orthogonal to the first one. This way cross hatchings get much denser and stronger than (single) hatchings.Drawing hatchings requires precision. So practicing hatchings is also a great opportunity to train your drawing precision. First begin to fill empty sheets with hatchings and cross-hatchings without a concrete subject in mind.When you have acquired some proficiency, you should try first easy subjects. Choose such sceneries that contain plenty of shadow. Try to reproduce this scene without using outlines. Instead rely completely on translating the shadows and dark areas into hatchings. Let the hatchings' direction follow the objects you are depicting. For drawing darker areas and shadows place the lines of your hatching closer together or use cross hatching.Learn to Draw ShadingsDrawing shadings is more common than hatching. It is more intuitive and requires less experience. When drawing shadings you just fill areas of your drawing by filling it with your pencil. By varying the softness of your pencil, the pressure you apply and the number of shading layers you create you control the tones you produce.Like when drawing hatchings you can draw shadings by drawing lots of lines. But this time you draw them so close to each other they overlap and blend completely. Shadings created out of lines still have a direction (although not as strong as hatchings). So pay attention to align your shadings' direction with the direction of the objects you are drawing. To make the shading more dense you can apply the same technique as when doing cross hatching.Another way for drawing shadings requires to draw lots of very small circles close together so they overlap. Shadings created this way are extremely smooth and lack a direction. The advantage: you don't have to pay attention to the shading's direction.Best you start practicing shadings right now. Take some sheets of paper, outline some simple figures like rectangles and start to fill them with shadings. Try to make them as smooth as possible and use the different techniques explained before.Again when you have achieved enough practice, try to start the techniques learned on real-world subjects.Drawing Different Angles and PerspectivesBesides doing shading and hatching the most important skill you need to acquire when beginning to learn drawing, is a profound understanding of perspective.There are some rules that can help you to construct perspectively correct drawings. But first it is necessary you practice your eye to recognize basic structures. Choose simple subjects containing mostly straight lines and not too much curves. Then depict these subjects by drawing only the outline. This way you can concentrate on understanding proportions and perspective. But don't stop here, repeat this exercise by drawing the same subject again and again from different angles. You'll see with each repetition you will understand the subject better and your ability to capture and depict the proportions of any subject will improve greatly.Your Next Steps in Learning DrawingThese three practices are the most important when learning to draw. There are more basic skills and techniques you could train. You can learn and improve drawing by yourself - just go out and draw life subjects. Start with easy ones and increase the level of difficulty as you make progress.Seven Drawing Tips to Learn To Draw FasterIn recent parts you learned how to understand your subjects better, to overcome your fear of failure and how to practice your drawing skills determinedly.This time I'll give you seven important tips that will help you to learn to draw fast:1. Get a sketchbook. It cannot be emphasized enough. Get one of those nice sketchbooks and take it with you everywhere you go! It allows you to use every free minute for practicing your drawing skills and depict interesting scenes you encounter2. Keep your drawings safe. As important as having a sketchbook (and keeping them after you have filled them) is to keep everything you draw. Get a folder to store them safe and protected from damage. Never ever throw away any of your drawings. This way you will collect a nice portfolio and can reference your recent works for inspiration and to keep track of your progress.3. Criticize your drawings later. As we discussed in the part about fighting your fear of failure - don't be overly judgmental about your drawings. Whenever the little critic in you wants to spring into action, outsmart him. Store your drawing away (in your folder) and tell him "later". In a few weeks or months you will see your drawing in a much more friendly light than today.4. Drawing from life is superior. You'll see: depicting real-life subjects seems to be more difficult than merely copying photos or other drawings. But it is much more rewarding and your drawings look much more lively and realistic. How it works? I don't know for sure, but I'd guess your mind somehow absorbs the scenery with all senses giving you more inspiration to put on the paper.5. Don't draw complicated subjects. Stay away from subjects that are too complicated. Instead start with simple subjects that you can understand and depict as good as you want it to be. Then increase the difficulty in little steps so your drawing skills can grow with the small challenges you are facing.6. Don't go into Detail too much. When drawing, less is more. Most of us tend to add too many details, too many small lines, too many unimportant objects. Don't try to draw all the details you see. Instead try to capture the scene as a whole, absorb how it feels and try to put this to paper using only few lines. 7. Practice, practice, practice. Oh and did I mention it? Practice! You cannot draw to often. And yes: you will learn to draw much faster. Always keep in mind: every line you draw, every drawing or sketching you finish improves your drawing skills and brings you one step forward. Practice by drawing scenes you encounter in everydays life into your sketchbook. Practice by doing the exercises I've shown you. Just practice.9