People who see me drawing often remark that they wish they could draw better. I hear this from my students fairly often. My response is simple: “Draw.” A lot of people who should don’t consider drawing to be all that important. They’re designers or photographers and don’t understand the technical and observational acumen that results from drawing and how it will enhance their design skill or photographic eye.
Drawing slows you down. When you draw, you’re taking time to look at something, to analyze it and reproduce it. You’re not simply setting up to capture it and move on to the next image. You become very aware of form, proportion and color. You come to understand light and shadow and how they reveal and define form. This awareness translates to any visual pursuit.
For those who want to draw better, here are a few recommendations:
1. Go draw something. Repeat.
Practice leads to improvement. You won’t get any better unless you engage in the attempt. The more you draw the more confident you’ll become.
2. Look at drawings.
Whether simple line drawings or meticulously detailed renderings, you can learn a lot from looking at the work of others. How did they use line and shape? How did they shade?
3. Draw from drawings.
This may sound peculiar, but what can you learn by copying a Da Vinci or Michaelangelo sketch? Tons. Learn from the masters by copying them. Really. They won’t mind.
4. Draw from photographs.
For most people, it’s easier to reproduce an image that’s already two-dimensional than reproduce an actual object, person or environment. When you’re working from photos, look at edges, shapes and angles. Don’t trace. Draw.