Can you draw lightly? Do you have trouble rubbing out your drawings when you make a mistake? Do you need to rub so hard that your paper scrunches and buckles under your eraser? Does your line leave an indent in the paper once you have erased it? If you are a beginner, chances are that […]
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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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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.
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.
How do we ignore it? Read more