Everyone CAN learn to draw! This statement can put people off.
It is my belief that there is no right or wrong in art (yes you heard that right!). Everyone’s idea of what makes good art is different, everyone sees colour differently – this is highlighted by the number of people who are colour blind and the variety of colour blindness that exists – and every artist has their own unique style.
My problem is that I firmly believe that everyone can draw, and I have a tendency to say “have a go, it’s easy!” which instantly puts some people off!!
I genuinely don’t mean for this to happen and I do genuinely believe art is easy! The key is learning not to compare yourself to other artists.
Hands up who used to love colouring in as a kid.
I’m willing to bet most of you put your hands up and the only ones who didn’t only restrain as they’re reading this in public.
I have not met a single person who didn’t love colouring in. Do you know what colouring in is?
I’ll leave that to sink in for a moment…
The reason we stop enjoying art as much is, well, we grow up.
We’re given the impression that colouring in is ‘childish’, that only ‘Artists’ paint and we look to the masters, to Leonardo Da Vinci, Monet, Constable, Whistler and think to ourselves ‘I can’t draw’.
Life takes over and art is forgotten.
What you do need to bear in mind is that all those wonderful Old Master’s immersed themselves in art and nothing but art for many, many years and you have never seen their first attempt at drawing.
So what are my 5 steps to learn to Draw?
Step 1 Materials
First you need some materials – a pencil (or pen if you don’t have a pencil) and a piece of blank paper. This. Is. All.
Something to draw – something very simple to start… let’s say an apple (in the world of wellbeing this is a double win as you can draw it and then eat it!).
Step 2 Mindset
You are NOT here to draw a masterpiece!
Exercising this part of your brain takes time and practise – Be Kind to Yourself.
Step 3 Make A Mark
Putting pencil to paper is the hardest thing so Be Bold!
Essentially an Apple is a circle – luckily it isn’t a perfect circle (they’re really difficult to draw freehand).
Look at your apple. Ready?
Draw a decisive outline. Try and draw it in one go. Don’t think about it, just draw it.
Congratulations you’ve drawn!
You can do this as many times as you like – it’s the first time that’s the hardest – enjoy the process, turn your apple on its side and draw it again. Do this as many times as it’s enjoyable when it stops being enjoyable (preferably just before!) move on to Step 4.
Step 4 Tone
To breathe some life into your apple outline add some tone.
Look at your Apple and squint – yes squint! – squinting stops us looking at details and enables us to see tone.
Shade the darker areas of your Apple using all of your pencil not just the tip – try lying your pencil on its side for a broader mark, adjust the pressure to make your marks darker or lighter.
Step 5 Practise
Top musicians, painters, athletes etc. all have one thing in common… they practise.
They love what they do and they practise every single day, for hours and hours.
I’m not saying to spend eight hours a day drawing – you have a life after all!
However spend five minutes every day drawing.
This could be doodling in a meeting, drawing what you see while the kids are playing, draw your apple while you eat your sandwich at lunch!
Simply observe and record. If you can have a small notebook to do your daily drawings in even better as in a few weeks time you can look back at your first drawings and see just how far you’ve come!
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