The Secret of Drawing


Hi I’m Murray Charteris and you are watching art lessons  online. 

I’ve had many people ask…. what is the secret of drawing?
Many people think that its hand eye coordination? What about  you? Do you think that being able to control the movements of your hand to  precise spots on the page is the secret? Well drawing certainly requires that  you can do that…but that part isn’t as hard as you might think. We do it almost  everyday whenever we write. We also used to do it all the time as a kid,  connecting the dots in those dot to dot colouring books. You would be surprised  at how much control you already have with a pencil. Try drawing a line between 2 dots on a page and you’ll see, its not that hard. In the introduction course  we will be working on some exercises to improve that coordination. But that’s  not the secret to drawing.

So if that’s not the secret to drawing then what else could  it be?

What about practice? Do you think that might be it? Artists definitely need lots and lots of practice and the more practice you get, the  better you get, right? True but some people practice and practice all they can,  but still can’t draw in the end. Why? Well a lot of that also has to do with  practicing the right kind of exercises. Like anything in life we need to know  how to do something before we practice it, otherwise we end up practicing  things that aren’t right and get ourselves into bad habits. The introduction course will show you exactly how you should be practising to keep getting better and  better at drawing. Yes, it’s important but it’s still not the secret of drawing.

So what else could it be?

Could it be naturally born talent? Do you think that you  have to be born with the skill to be able to do it? You know what? Nobody is  born with the skill. That’s right, we don’t automatically know how to draw. It  is a skill that is developed over time. Now some people develop those skills  quite quickly, especially if they have gone to art classes or are lucky enough to have someone help them,  to teach them and provide enough encouragement for those skills to be nurtured.  Other people take a lot longer to develop the skills of drawing, and most  people give up before they even get to the stage of developing the skills to a  satisfactory level. Perhaps that might be you?

No, natural talent isn’t the secret of drawing either.

So far we’ve established…. we need to develop good hand-eye  coordination, we need to get as much practice as we can to develop our drawing  skills so that they keep getting better…and natural talent only plays a small role in the  secret of drawing. So what else is there, what is stopping us from drawing now?

Well, Even though we might have enough pencil control, we  really tend to get unstuck with knowing exactly what shape to draw. What is the  real shape of the object and how is that shape defined? When we start to make  marks on the paper, how do we know exactly where those marks should be drawn?

Well now we are starting to see the problem. The problem  isn’t the control of our hand, its our brain not telling us what we should be  drawing. Even if we are trying to copy a shape, there’s a part of our brain  that thinks it knows best and tells us what the shape is. The problem is that  that part of our brain isn’t the visual part, so it relies on memory and logic  to work out what the shape should look like when we draw it. Well… the memory  and logic parts of our brain aren’t good at drawing either. This part of our  brain is nearly always wrong when it comes to drawing.

Now we are getting closer to the secret…

When we draw an object, we need to switch off that part of  the brain that is leading us astray. We need to learn to use a different part  of our brain to work out what we should be drawing. We need to learn to make  judgements based on Visual clues rather than memory and logic. We need to learn  to follow what we are seeing so that we can turn that into a drawing.

So what is the secret of drawing?

This is…..
Our eyes. Learning to  trust and follow our eyes is the secret of good drawing skills. In the art classes that I’ll be posting on this site I’m going to show you how you can temporarily switch off  the logical part of your brain, and instead, follow your eyesight and evaluate  shapes based on what you are really seeing. You will be amazed at how much you  see every day, but don’t really notice.
Join me in unlocking your hidden artistic talent, and  pretty soon you’ll be amazing your friends with what you can draw.

Next Video Lesson – Analysing Shapes >