To Copy or Not to Copy?

Is it okay to copy a photo when you are drawing? Should we regard copying photos to make your own artwork as cheating? I want to give you my opinion on this rather controversial subject of copying. There is some controversy in the art community about whether it is acceptable to copy images from photographs […]

Adding New Layers to your Paintings without Mucking it up

Do you start to get nervous half way through a painting that you are really happy with, but know there is still a long way to go? What happens when you have done a fantastic looking background and now you get to the stage of putting in foreground objects but you aren’t sure exactly where […]

Drawing the things we DON’T see!

With any drawing, an important but often overlooked aspect is the shapes of the things that we don’t see. BUT WAIT! How can we draw (or paint) things that we don’t see? Well, to be more specific, I’m talking about the spaces or gaps between objects that can be just as important as the shapes […]

Upside down drawing

Drawing upside down? Sounds crazy right? and no I don’t mean standing on your head to draw. As a child I grew up watching a TV show called “Mr Squiggle” where a puppet character that had a pencil for a nose would draw a picture in a couple of minutes or less and you had […]

Tips on getting proportions correct

Getting the proportions of each element of your artwork correct is vital to create a realistic looking drawing or painting. A successful illustration has each shape drawn in the correct size in proportion to every other shape in the drawing. Proportions can be one of the hardest skills for beginners to develop. Luckily there are a few tricks that you can use to help you to make those judgements about the size of your shapes.

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How to draw – Top 5 tips for Beginners

1. Draw the shape – not the duck

Duck? who mentioned a duck?

OK, I’m using a duck as an example, but it could be any object. If you are a beginner and you try and draw a duck, your brain starts by trying to simplify the duck to shapes that can be drawn easily and will be recognizable. Your brain will guide you to draw that simplified version of the duck so that others may recognize your drawing. The trouble is that the simplified version that your brain is telling you may not look anything like the real duck that you are trying to draw. It leads to confusion and frustration as you try and draw what your brain is telling you while comparing your drawing to the real duck.

Whether you are trying to draw a duck, a car, a persons face or a bowl of flowers, the principle is exactly the same. Your brain will try and draw the object in the simplest way it can, while also modifying the shapes so that your drawing will be recognizable.  The secret to drawing is to follow the real shapes that you are seeing rather than drawing what your brain tells you to draw.

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Following the real shapes that we are seeing

How do I learn to draw the real shapes that I am seeing?

When we try and draw a picture there is a part of brain that is always telling us how things should be. It tells us what shape we should be drawing so that the drawing is identifiable to other people, it always thinks that it knows best. This part of our brain is great for other things such as identifying objects and recognising our friends faces, but when it comes to drawing it is nearly always wrong. It is exactly this part of our brain that misleads us when we are trying to draw an object. Instead of following what we are seeing, it will lead us astray with made up shapes that don’t follow reality.

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Your first tips and tricks…

Art Lesson Tips and Tricks

Hi and Welcome to Art Lessons online. This is the first of many blog posts to come, I’ve set up these tips and Tricks posts to help you to grow your drawing and painting skills. Whether you are an absolute beginner still drawing stick figures or someone with advanced skills that you want to develop further, I’ll be posting regularly with heaps of drawing and painting tips and tricks that I have learned along my own artistic journey.

As an artist, we are always growing our knowledge and techniques through learning and experimenting…and it never stops. I’ve setup this site to share information with you so that we can all develop our art skills as we are going along. While there are so many things that I want to teach you and share with you, I’m also hoping that my own skills and ideas will grow from the development of this site. Thats right, through posts and replies from you all, I’m hoping that we can all share new techniques and artistic experiences that everyone can learn from, including myself.

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