Wednesday, February 13, 2008

On learning to draw

A friend of mine mentioned she wanted to take some art classes. The Nassau County Museum of Art is where my Mom takes drawing and painting classes (she has for over 20 years!) and its also where I took figure drawing and where I occasionally go to workshops.

There are also classes offered by the Art League of Long Island.

And then there is always the internet. There are tons of great blogs out there that I know of that offer free learning materials for people who want to draw. It is also great to look at the blogs of various artists/illusrators/cartoonists to study how they find solutions to various creative challenges. There are also tons of books. Jack Hamm has some great books about drawing all different kinds of subjects.

Don't read too much though. That is to say, spend more time drawing! Reading is good but you have to draw if you want to learn how. Practice also builds muscle memory into you hand, wrist etc. in the same way that athletes train their bodies.

The one piece of advice I can give you is this: anyone can learn to draw well (people that are supposedly born with 'talent' are probably rarer than a turquoise chipmunk, anyone can develop talent through practice). I don't draw too well because I don't practice. Even people who are exceptionally good have off days where they can draw well. Warm-up helps, like doing some quick sketching to loosen up (again, the athlete analogy works here). When you first set out to learn to draw, you (probably) won't like what your drawings look like when you first start. To be any good takes a lot of hard work and patience. Not everyone who can draw can draw everything. I know some people who are great at illustration or other kinds of drawing not great at realistic figure drawing (which is really really hard). I'm pretty terrible at it myself, but I don't let that stop me. I guess that's more than one piece of advice. Oh, and also its great to have a sketch book with you at all times. Sketch's aren't finished works of art, they are mostly for experimentation, which is how you learn to draw. I guess the one piece of advice is don't be discouraged if you don't find success immediately.

Just start drawing!

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Anonymous Learn to Draw said...

Learning to draw takes time, although it helps if you've been doing it a while

1:32 AM  

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