Learn to Draw by expressing yourself

Honey Bear and Apples
oil painting on 6"X6" Gessobord
What is art? It is doing anything well. It is self expression and exploration. From the very second you were aware of your environment through any of your senses, you needed to express yourself. Self expression is rewarding and freeing. Get to know yourself better. Pick up a pencil and make marks on paper. Scribble and play. It feels good.
"Express Yourself, Don't Repress Yourself."
MADONNA, Human Nature


How to Draw

Creamer cups,
drawn while hanging out in a restaurant, waiting for an appointment.

How to Draw
(2 simple steps)
  1. Carry a sketch book with you and practice drawing everything, everywhere. Draw, draw, draw.
  2. Repeat step one with passion until you become expert. We do well what we do most often. The End.

And while you are learning to draw, here are some pointers.
  • You must be looking at your object. Otherwise you are cartooning. You cannot draw what you cannot see, unless you have a totally photographic memory.
  • Tracing objects from photos will quickly put you in touch with the abstract shapes of reality.
  • Working from the actual object is the best practice. Especially if it is human.
  • The more you know an object, the harder it is to draw because objects are 3 dimensional. The curves and angles are frustrating to think about. Instead you must force yourself to look upon your object as a flat shape. Tracing from photos lets you see things as simple shapes. Look upon your object with your eyes almost closed and out of focus. It is called,"Squinting." Squint till you almost cannot see and concentrate on simple shapes. This is training the eye. It takes lots of practice.
  • Compare the size of one shape to another. Appearances are deceiving. The diameter of the top of the drinking glass might look like a shorter distance than the height of the glass, however, it might be the same or greater distance.
  • The size and shape of the space in between objects (negative space) is just as important as the objects themselves. Draw the negative space as if it is an important object.
  • Take drawing classes from more than one teacher. Pretend to be the most inexperienced person in the class and you will get the most help, not only from the teacher, but the other students. The student with the best drawing skill is the least popular.
  • Learn to draw by drawing often. Practice, practice, parctice.
Cherries 'N Heels, oil, 6"X6"
My friend, Lauri, found these crazy shoes at the Salvation Army. We are looking for someone who can fit into a size 5 to model them for us.


Draw Garbage

Cough Drop Package

Draw Garbage to shake loose the fear of producing perfection.
Keep a drawing journal. Draw something, anything, everyday.
Commit to something you love. Practice often. Do not neglect your own desire. Give yourself this gift.
Draw the things you see lying about. Don't waste time looking for perfection. Practice now.

I took an oil painting workshop in Sedona from Carol Marine. I highly recommend Carol's workshops. I feel that I can die happy now. It was that good. These eight pears were 7 minute studies, 7 minutes per pear. We were allowed to choose our own subject.
Pears 1, oil  6"X6"
Pears 2, oil 6"X6"

 The next painting is from an exercise where the goal was to mix a different color for each brush stroke. I really enjoyed it. Very good practice.
Pear, oil 8"X10"
 Pair of Shoes, oil 6"X6"
 Pear and Bottles, oil 6"X6"
Something Doesn't Belong, oil 6"X6"


Sketch & Play, Do It Today

Chocolate Bar Wrapper
Draw things that do not matter on paper that doesn't matter so you will just practice. Make your sketch book a place to play. Put a little dirt on it so you will get over the preciousness of it. Scribble it up and practice, practice, practice . . .
2 Bowls of Cherries, oil 6"X6"
Sunflower, watercolor 14X20


Learn to draw by drawing a series of things

Learn to draw by playing. If you stopped drawing, I mean really drawing with enjoyment, with abandon, without harshly judging yourself, when you were a child, then your art ability is still a child. Be kind to your art spirit. Let it play. Treat yourself to a new box of crayons and play with blank paper. Draw things that only matter to you. Make designs from your imagination. Take a deep breath, let out a happy sigh of relief. You are relieved that no one is judging your marks on paper.
Playing with crayons, or some other fun color something that will make sparkling, delightful marks on paper is a good warm up exercise.
Now study an item of interest. Draw it with your eyes first. Compare the negative shapes (the area that is not the object) to the positive shapes (the object.) Get into a comfortable position. Make sure your legs are comfortable.  After you have studied the object, draw while you smile and breath deeply, relaxing your shoulders.
Draw a series
Get to know your subject matter.
Practice drawing the same thing from different angles or draw another of the same kind of thing, such as 4 different banana peelings.