The art of learning to draw


Art, specifically drawings, can be beautiful and can even create emotion. Amazingly detailed drawings can be fantastic to look at, but occasionally, creating them may be frustrating. Seeing such awesome talent can be easy to appreciate for some, but harder for others who may feel like their own work can’t compare. Drawing or learning any new skill can be difficult. It can be hard to start; to create something that may not live up to the expectations you may have had for it. This can be discouraging at times, but hopefully, seeing the work of others will continue to inspire you to continue creating. Talented artists from around Patterson Mill and on YouTube have decided to share some tips that they have for starting your creative journey, and to help success come as quickly as possible. Before you can start drawing, though, some basic supplies are needed.

With so many things to learn and so many options when it comes to supplies, it can be intimidating to figure out where to start. Mrs. Erin Buckland, an art teacher here at Patterson Mill, recommends getting “a few different drawing pencils. An ebony pencil is a great place to start. Get a few B (soft graphite for darker drawing) and H (hard graphite for lighter drawing) pencils. Charcoal can be a fun (and messy!!) and encourages you to draw big.” Besides pencils, erasers are a super important supply to have. “Pick up a few good erasers – kneaded and plastic erasers are my favorite,” she says. It’s exciting to buy new supplies for the first time or just to restock, but for a beginner’s work to be most effective, a schedule of goals can be a great help later down the road. Setting goals can help anyone- beginner or professional- to figure out what and when they will be drawing. Focusing on one topic for a certain amount of time can really help to improve in that area. With new supplies and schedule ready for use, it’s time to begin drawing.

Actually drawing can be the most intimidating part of the process when teaching yourself to draw. It is very important to not let that discourage you, though. “I’ve learned more from my failures than my successes. Growing as an artist is all about experimenting,” Buckland says.

When it comes to pencil on paper, there are a few techniques that can help to get the best results. Observational drawing is usually the most effective way to start, as it is easy to see exactly what the shapes look like in real life and how they interact with the environment and lighting. Design.tutsplus says not to blame yourself if drawing large cubes or straight surfaces come out looking wobbly. “[Straight lines] exist only in vector, as the shortest way between two points. You can cheat and use a ruler, but most likely your hand will never learn to draw a perfectly straight, long lines.” They go on to recommend starting by sketching with multiple, shorter lines to make shapes. “If drawing a long line is almost impossible, we can use short lines that our hand is more adapted for.” Making these shorter lines will not only make the final sketch look more accurate to the subject being drawn, but will really help to train your hand the styles and movements it needs to know.

Speaking of style, personal style is a common worry among new artists. Art style is merely an artist’s own way of drawing a certain subject matter. Different art styles can look amazing and creative, making art in their very own original way. Many worry that the art they make doesn’t have enough of a certain style to it and end up focusing more on that than learning new skills. This shouldn’t be the case, as it is more important to develop basic skills first and a style will naturally develop with time. Marius Watz says that while styles of artists are nice, if someone decides they are ready to focus on developing a style, they should make sure it isn’t a copy. Being inspired by other artists is fine, and is even recommended for beginners to find what they like, but blatantly copying someone else’s work or style is never okay.

Besides other artists, there is an endless amount of resources available to everyone. Videos, like those on YouTube, are very helpful to visually show how to create. Books are a common tool as well. “How-to-draw books that break objects into simple shapes work well for younger learners,” Buckland continues. “Anatomy books can be an excellent resources for figure drawing in high school aged students.” Even our own art teacher, Ms. Comoglio, teaches several classes outside of school to help teach all kinds of skills for beginners and experienced drawers. It’s always okay to look for help when learning something new, nobody is born with the ability to create something perfectly on their first attempt. Openly available resources like these are always there for everyone.

These are just a few of the very many tips and tricks for aspiring artists, and hopefully you can find and use whichever helps you the most. Again, there are countless resources openly available to anyone interested and plenty of people to answer any questions. Art can be created in infinite different ways, so don’t be afraid to go out and create something new!