Drawing 101

When you draw, you’re taking time to look at something, to analyze it and reproduce it. You’re not setting up to capture it and move on. You become very aware of form, proportion and color. You come to understand light and shadow and how they reveal and define form.

For those who want to draw better, here are a few tips:

1. Draw something & Repeat.

Practice leads to improvement. You won’t get any better unless you engage in the attempt. The more you draw the more confident you’ll become.

2. Look at other drawings.

Simple line drawings or meticulously detailed renderings, you can learn a lot from looking at the work of others. How did they use line and shape? How did they shade?

3. Draw from reference.

What can you learn by attempting to duplicate a Da Vinci or Michaelangelo sketch? Tons. Learn from the masters by mimicking their techniques.

5. Draw from your surroundings.

If you’re just starting out, pick simple objects and work your way up to complex ones. Go ahead and try drawing people and your pets. Draw your furniture. Here’s a challenge: draw your hand. Hands and feet are the most complex parts of your anatomy and are readily available subject matter. If you can master these, you’ll pretty much be able to draw anything.

7. Keep a sketchbook.

Keep it with you, open it up and work at filling it.

8. Be intentional.

This is the hardest thing, because if you want to improve at anything, you must decide to do it. You need to make a commitment and even schedule regular time in your week or your day to pursue drawing. In order to become better at it you need to make a habit of it.

I think it’s also important to understand why you desire or need to draw. For me, it’s my sanctuary, it’s something that provides a lot of peace and relaxation. It’s foundational to who I am. I find that drawing something makes that thing more important to me. As I come to understand the thing as I draw it, I can perceive how it was formed and why. That leads to greater perceptions altogether.