12/1/10

Learn to Draw by drawing as if you are a young child

Squeezed out Tea Bag
Draw garbage cause it just doesn't matter.

I am hoping that you might know a young child and can watch him or her go at it with a crayon or marker with no inhibitions. Children draw things from images they have inside their head. Try to remember how that felt, when you were age 3-5, before your peers broke you down, before you cared what the world would think of the marks you made on paper and your simple efforts were praised.

For a warm up exercise, draw as if you are a very young child. Art is therapeutic. Drawing helps you meditate and think less of bothersome things. Warm up exercises help you relax so you are not intimidated by the objects you really want to draw.
Here is a drawing exercise that is about drawing something in motion. Say What!? Oh Yeah. You heard me. If you have cats, and I suspect you do. They wake up once in a while to eat and clean themselves, two very good actions to draw. The cat sits in one place to clean and eat, but yet is in motion. 

If you do not have pets, draw a person while he or she sits in one place to do a project.

This is gesture drawing at it's finest. Drawing is not so much about training your hand to do something. It is about teaching your eyes to observe better.

Why draw something in motion? Because it forces you to look harder and draw more quickly, look for the basic shape of the whole. It forces you to improve your drawing skill.

Why draw quickly? You will stop noodling with the details and simplify your lines. You will outline your entire object before it gets away from you. It alleviates the pressure of creating a masterpiece. Your drawings will look more alive with no time for erasing, you will have to restate your lines. Drawing quickly forces you to improve your drawing skill.

You don't have a live animal or person to draw? Draw from TV, or youtube. Draw Dianne Sawyer while she gives you the news or Steven Cobert or Regis and Kelly or John Stewart or . . .
Practicing drawing is not about the finished work. It is about the practice. It is always good to keep all your efforts in an unlined, spiral bound journal and look back at them later. It will prove to you how much you have improved. However, if your practice efforts are worrying you, maybe you need to work on scratch paper, put them in a wadded pile and burn them so you can let go. 

I always compare learning to draw to learning a musical instrument. You have to practice constantly to improve. Whether you are a child or an adult, you learn the same things, go through the same frustrations and enjoy the same reward from your efforts. The big difference is the sound of practicing a musical instrument is heard then gone. However, the practice drawing sits there looking back at you till you close your journal. Hide it or throw it away if you need to, just keep practicing.

Repeating something, over time, will give you power over that something. After a month of drawing practice, your brain will have changed. Just as a good exercise routine will change the shape of your body.

1 comment:

Lauri said...

Yesterday, I was drawing two very different large dogs sleeping. Of course they sensed my eyes on them so they kept shifting position. The result - three pages of sleeping dogs with missing body parts! (The good news is it taught me to sketch faster.)