Have you ever looked at a drawing (or painting) and thought, “damn, I wish I could do that!”? Then you vow: “I’m going to learn how to draw!”
You buy the “How To Draw” books, watch the creative geniuses on YouTube, and then get to work…
…only to find your maiden goddess looks like this:
Well, I’m going to share with you how my father taught me to draw.
Find a picture you like.
Tip: make sure it is not too complex – e.g. a lot of buildings, a forest, a large group of people. This will make you’re fun exercise too hard, and you’re more likely to want to give up.
Grab a sheet of baking paper out of the kitchen.
I know what you’re thinking – this is a cop-out!
Not the case, my friend!
Tracing is very important for two reasons.
One: your hand will learn. Yes; an entity all it’s own (or at least it feels that way sometimes.) It’s called “muscle memory:” A movement or action done over a long period of time eventually becomes subconscious – sure, you’ll draw from your imagination later on but your hand will know how to get it onto the paper.
Two: You’ll learn a fundamental in art – that everything is made up of shapes. All those lines that you trace in the picture will eventually meet to create an image. You’ll see circles, ovals, squares and so on. Once you break an image down like that, a lot of pressure is taken off.
Art, like music or dance, or another forms of expression, often have a lot of hype behind it – that is, if you’re not perfect at it right away then there’s no way you could ever dream of being an accomplished artist/musician/dancer. We psych ourselves out of something even before we’ve tried.
Tracing is what my father did a lot, being a draftsman, and he always encouraged my brother and I to be creative, after studying art himself. I found that I could get around my perfectionism by tracing. Yes, I knew that I hadn’t drawn it myself, technically, but I had still done it.
The only thing after tracing is to jump into the real thing – and speaking from experience, it should be a lot easier.
Oh, and practise, practise, practise!
I’m currently using shapes to draw my pot plant.
The annoying part is shading… but that’s a whole other lesson.