One trick I learned that changed everything I thought I knew about drawing!

Have you ever experienced a paradigm shift?

Have you ever had that moment where everything you saw something changed drastically, and was replaced with a completely and entirely new way of looking at it?
That’s what I experienced after reading the book “Drawing on the Artist Within” when the author, Betty Edwards, challenged my way of seeing what I was looking at when I was drawing.
It’s been years since I read it, but I remember clearly the exercise she instructed in the book.
Betty was able to make me realize that even though I was “seeing” everything I was drawing, I wasn’t really SEEING it as it truly is.
What I realized was that in my brain, I have images that I have created in my mind for all of the different things I’m looking at. It’s kind of like my own personal file cabinet of memories – not very accurate memories, apparently!
For example, if I were to think of an eye, I would have wanted to draw an oval shape with a circle inside the oval. Very simplistic and inaccurate.
If I were to think of hair, I would want to draw individual hairs in strands from the top of the head…maybe if it was curly hair, I would have drawn many scribbly circles to indicate that. Continue reading

One surprising thing you may not ever have been told about drawing outlines.

Years ago, I remember watching tutorials and reading step by step outlines on drawing techniques. They taught me a lot.
What remained a mystery to me, though was, “how did these artists get their initial outline to look so amazing? Did they do it freehand, and if so, I want to know how to accomplish that amount of accuracy myself!
I searched many sites and videos, trying very hard to find an answer to this, but almost everything I watched started the lessons AFTER the outline was already there, which really irked me!
So I tried asking the question, “How do I actually go about drawing the initial outline for my drawing?” on art forums such as Wet Canvas.
What I found interesting was that this question actually started debates among the artists there about whether any method besides 100 percent freehand was cheating! 
When I read these debates – which sometimes included harsh judgment from some for anyone who traced an outline – I felt a twinge of guilt.
I felt like I was not a “real” artist like those other artists who seemed to be capable of drawing perfectly with no mistakes on their own.
For a while, I hid the fact that I began my drawings this way, out of embarrassment. I thought wrongly that most artists must have a gift or quality that I didn’t possess and that I had a shameful secret; that I used shortcuts that other “real” artists didn’t need.
The truth came to light (for me) years later when I realized that many artists through the centuries and even today, use many methods (like tracing) that help them to be more accurate.
Man drawing a lute by Albrecht Dürer
It’s not shameful or cheating to use these methods.  They’re just helpful tools that help speed the process and help provide accurate proportions.
Imagine taking a traced outline to multiple people who are not artists and see how their drawings turn out. They would all be different, wouldn’t they?
The finished product would reveal the skill level of each artist involved. Continue reading

This is the biggest reason you haven’t been able to improve your drawing skills yet!

So, you want to draw like a professional, right?
But it seems like no matter what you do, you can’t seem to get your drawings to look like what you want them to.
You start drawing, then freak out inside because you make a mistake, and that mistake turns into another, and you just get so frustrated after a while that you just throw it out and angrily decide, “I’m just not meant to be an artist!”
Discouraged, you put the drawing supplies away and don’t even think about drawing again till weeks later.
You think, Obviously, I just don’t have the talent so what’s the point of even trying?
What’s the problem here? Are you actually lacking in talent or is something else the problem?
The truth is, there are no shortcuts to drawing well.
The reason you aren’t improving is because you’re not investing enough time in drawing! It’s really that simple.
When we expect to be able to produce amazing pieces of art without having put in much time to learn and develop our abilities, we will be disappointed every time.
Drawing is a skill that is acquired with lots and lots and lots of practice.
So here’s one thing you need to do to ensure that you’ll one day be able to draw just like the artists you admire so much: Continue reading

Why I created this blog

Very often, I hear people tell me these words, “Your work is so good! I can’t even draw a stick person!”.
While it feels good to be complimented in such a sincere way, as i kept hearing this reference to the “stick person”, I started to ponder on the meaning of the comment and wondered, do people really believe they are lacking in talent or that they could not do the same things that I am doing?

The statement, “I can’t even draw a stick person” seems to be a way to say, “You have talent, therefore you can draw. I do not have talent, and therefore I cannot.” Continue reading