You Can Draw! Yes...YOU!

Drawing is not restricted to professional or self-proclaimed artists. Drawing is something anyone can do. If you’ve ever picked up a pen or pencil during a telephone conversation and start doodling, you were drawing.

Yes, drawing is a skill, but it’s one anybody can learn. It’s similar to riding a bike, skiing, typing, using a computer, or any other skill or activity that’s learnable. The more you do it, the better you become. But remember, drawing doesn’t have to be about the finished product. The best part of drawing is the process. Drawing takes your mind off everything else. It can be relaxing, calming, rewarding, and fun.

Keep some drawing supplies close at hand. You never know when something will inspire you to begin sketching. Be yourself as you draw. Draw from your own personal perspective and find your own natural style. Don’t compare your drawings to anyone else’s work, unless you’re trying to learn a new technique from someone. You may be surprised to find you’re more creative than you thought.

Take a little time today to grab a pencil and a piece of paper and make a few doodles. Have fun with it. Then move on to drawing something that interests you. Draw whenever you have time. You may even want to schedule time to draw into your daily calendar.

Here are some tips to help you bring out your inner artist.

Tips for getting started…

  • Collect the proper materials. Stop by your local arts and crafts store or shop online. Purchase a sketchbook with paper made especially for drawing, along with some graphite pencils. Graphite pencils come in different degrees of hardness and softness. H pencils are the hardest pencils. They are smudge resistant and draw cleaner lines. F and HB (standard #2 pencil) pencils are dark and provide minimal smudging. B pencils are soft. They smudge easily and can be erased with little effort.

  • Warm up before you start. To loosen up, do some simple fluid hand movements across your paper with a pencil for a few minutes. Draw circles or flowing lines.

  • Start with something simple. Many people new to drawing find it easier to begin drawing from photos rather than real life. Some folks find it helpful to draw an entire alphabet of block letters – one letter at a time – before tackling something more involved.

  • Investigate before you draw. Look very closely at whatever you’re about to draw. Drawing is a process of recreating what you see with your own eyes.

  • Try to use your shoulder when drawing. That way, you move your whole arm when you draw instead of just your wrist and hand.

  • Keep your paper clean. It’s important to avoid unintended smudging or marks on your paper. Try not to rest any part of your hand on areas of the paper you have drawn on. Also wash your hands before you begin to draw and also at intervals while drawing.

  • Look for shapes. Everything you draw will be made up of a varied combination of basic shapes. Look for the squares, circles and/or triangles making up the overall form of your subject.

  • Start with the basics. Begin by drawing simple outlines of the shapes you see. Draw lightly at first so you can easily erase any mistakes. Erase and redraw as needed until you are satisfied that the basic shapes look the way you want them to look. Once you’re happy with what you’ve created, you can then define your lines more precisely.

  • Add details later. When you’re happy with the basics you’ve drawn, add shapes within shapes and then create more intricate details. Use thicker lines in some areas and thinner in others to show the effects of light and dark.

  • Let your creativity flow. Don’t be surprised if your initial drawings do not come out exactly as you had imagined them. The same thing happens with accomplished artists. Art is fluid by nature and often takes on a life of its own.

  • Try not to judge yourself. Be positive about your outcomes. It’s easy to be overly critical when appraising your own artwork. Look for what you’ve done well and take pride in your accomplishments.

  • Keep at at it. The more you draw, the better you will become.

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