Anybody Can Learn to Draw

Drawing is a skill like anything else. Anyone can improve just by practicing. In fact, you can overcome a serious lack of “talent” simply by putting pencil to paper every day. Doing the right exercises every day will speed your improvement even more.

Some people think they do not have enough talent to draw. This is an outdated idea that needs to go extinct, like the dinosaur. Drawing is a skill just like skiing or needlepoint. Of course, some people do teach themselves how to do these things, but no one ever starved because they weren’t born a master chef. Most of us learn the basics of boiling water and then simply follow a recipe if we want a nice dinner. You can do the same thing with drawing.

The best way to begin is to find a good sketchbook and bring it with you wherever you go. Whenever you have a bit of free time, you can just tug out the sketchbook and get some practice in. Sketching is particularly good for beginners because you do not have to draw perfectly at all. Sketches are supposed to be messy.

Changing how you look at things is another excellent technique. Imagine the subject of your drawing as if it was flat. This is helpful because seeing the image as flat makes drawing it flat much easier. You will be able to more precisely copy the shapes and distances in the image if they are flat. Some people find it helpful to close one eye while they do this, because it inhibits their depth perception.

You can also try drawing a large square or frame around where you plan to be drawing. The square helps to frame your drawing. It also helps you decide what you will or will not be drawing. Framing a drawing makes it easier for you to measure the spaces and shapes within the frame. Many artists have another trick for measuring parts of a drawing or painting. Use your pencil tip as a measuring unit and hold it at arm’s length to take measurements. The pencil tip can be used like a ruler so you accurately measure and copy different lengths and shapes within your drawing and the original image. This gives them a guideline that helps make all the shapes come together.

Try to be patient as you learn how to draw. If your first attempt at drawing something does not come out, don’t give up. Remember Georgia O’Keefe, Monet or any famous artist; they would practice drawing and painting each subject for weeks on end. Not many beginning artists want to draw something twice, much less more than ten times. It can teach you a lot about not just the subject you are drawing, but about the mistakes you made in your first attempt.

Pamella Neely writes about drawing for kids. She’s been drawing since she was a child. She spends a lot of time practicing how to draw a rose.

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