Sometime back, I looked for tips on The Net, hoping to find the secret to learning how to draw.
In retrospect, I’m pretty sure I found what I was looking for, but it took me over a year to realize that.
You may think this is way too obvious, because the “big” secret is that you need to draw some, draw some more, and then draw even some more.
Eventually, you will begin to see some improvement, you may even get worse at it first. Why worse? Because something is changing and this takes its toll on the set of tricks you’ve been depending on until now, and also worse because you’re improving your own skill at critiquing drawings.
The real secret to drawing something impressive lies in you learning how to see right. Not just to see with your eyes, but also your heart and mind, you cannot learn this on youtube or from any book, you need to practice it. For hours and hours. Days and days. Months and months.
There were a few more secrets, but I won’t go into them much, just let you know, which ones really work for me:
- use a sketchbook, take it with you and draw in it and go places especially to draw
- draw from life as often as possible
- draw on anything that is available (envelopes, letters, cards, boxes, bags)
- copy from the Great Masters (or anybody who is already dead and whose drawings are still being displayed)
- don’t care about the tool, but consider using ink over pencil (no erasing possible)
- spend 10 minutes each day just practicing drawing straight lines, ellipses and circles
- look into gesture drawing, even if you don’t want to draw many people later
- draw lots of quick poses, faces, hands (e.g. from photos on http://quickposes.com (support that site!))
- look at your best attempts for a bit, but …
- throw as many away as possible
Tonight I drew over one hundred faces, each one in 30 seconds and it got pretty tedious towards the end, but this is what I’m talking about. Draw, draw, draw. Everyday, I must keep reminding myself that these hours and hours of practice are necessary to get anywhere with this skill. And the hours of practice can be fun!
There are no shortcuts.