Jump to content
  • Get your art materials from Amazon.com!

    Sennelier Black Box Half Soft Pastel Box 120

    artfreaks.com has a sales affiliate relationship with Amazon.com Verified sales resulting from clicks on Amazon.com product links will generate a small commission for the site-owner - thus helping to keep artfreaks.com as a free website for artists and photographers.

First attempts at drawing... How to get started.

 

The drawing upside-down and the white space tips both came from of Betty Edwards, in her book: The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain

And here is a link to her website, purely by way of a big thank you!

https://www.drawright.com/

 

OK, so you have finally plucked-up the courage to get that sketch pad out that you were given for your 8th birthday - (you are now 28!) - and you really want to have a go at drawing.

A good place to start is just copying a photograph of anything that takes your fancy. Ideally, you want to work from a printed photograph or a cut-out from a magazine - or even a comic, if that is what you are into.

Now, first things first... TURN YOUR PHOTO OR PRINT-OUT UPSIDE-DOWN! If you are working from your laptop, rotate the image through 180 degrees.

Now. If you are trying to copy a photo of a person, don't even attempt to draw the person. Draw the "white space" around them. So, if for example, they are standing against a door, then draw the door and the edges of the bits of the door that you can't see because of the person who is standing in front of it. What you end-up with is, of course, the outline of a person. But the important thing is that what you have been drawing is the door - not the person.

It's exactly the same procedure if it is just the head part. Instead of trying to draw the head, you draw everything around the head. So everything EXCEPT the head. What is left in the middle will actually be the outline of the head - but that is not what you are looking at when you draw it.

Same thing if it's the arms, hands, body, whatever. You DON'T draw the hand. You draw the space around it. So, if the guy is resting his hand on a table, you draw the table - not the hand. Then the bit of the table that is missing is, of course, where his hand is resting.

'Same thing if it is a cow in a field. A kettle on a stove. A car. A horse and cart. Whatever. You name it!!

When you come to draw in the details, keep the photo that you are copying upside-down and just draw what you see - in the correct location, relative to the outline.

  • So DO NOT try to draw a face. DO NOT try to draw a hand.
  • Turn the photo upside-down!!
  • Draw in the "white space" first.
  • Fill-in the details as you see them.
  • Erase from your mind any conception of what you think a hand, face, head, someone's neck, a horse or a dog should look like.
  • And just draw what you see!!

It may take a few attempts but you will very soon get used to drawing exactly what you see - not what you think you are seeing. Or what you think a hand or a face should look like. As soon as you are confident in your ability to just draw what you see - how it actually is - not how you think it should be - you can then work with all of your photos the right way up.

 

And please DON'T practice to much. All that will do is to spoil your creativity and all your stuff will look very boring and technical.

Just get on with it and enjoy the process. Once you get going - if you just let yourself go - you will very soon develop your own style.

 

Your drawings DON'T have to be perfect. They just have to be natural and you have to have fun doing them... You don't have to spend hours and hours of drudgery practicing to try and make your drawings look like something out of a text book. Let your own style develop by itself.

 

Last one... If ever you want to try your hand at drawing a live model - obviously, you can't turn them upside-down!! What you have to do is to draw all the "white space" around them first. Get the basic outline of their body. Then fill in the details exactly as you see them. When it comes to eyes - and, especially hands - you really need to just draw what you see. Don't think of these things as eyes or hands. Just think of them as random lines that you have to copy.

I really can't understand why so many beginners have so much trouble drawing hands!! They almost always seem to draw them about half the size they should be. If you are having trouble with hands, don't try to draw hands. Just draw the white space around them. It's that easy!!

Just give it a go!

Don't practice.

And have fun!

Then upload your results here at artfreaks.com. Don't be ashamed. This site was specifically designed for beginners and amateurs. We used to have loads of beginners when the site first started, back in 2005 and it would be lovely to see some more absolute beginners back on the site! :)

 

Edited by smb


User Feedback

Recommended Comments

This... This is the most bizzare thing I've ever heard of when it comes to learning to draw. Don't practice, don't draw the subject you want, just draw everything else? Otherwise your work becomes technical and boring? 

Am I missing something here? Okay, you get good at drawing what's there as apposed to working overly hard on the subject manner but if you don't work on your weaknesses how ever will you develop? This entire thing has boggled my mind! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites
  • Root Admin

I think this method was designed for people who tend to draw the conceptualized images, especially for the parts of human anatomy, that are held in some people's brains - rather than what is actually in front of their eyes? So, basically, it is a way of tricking the part of the mind that can get in the way when people who claim that they 'can't draw to save their lives' - especially when it comes to people and non-human animals.

In short, this is most definitely not a book for accomplished artists, like yourself. I think it was intended for people who would love to be able to draw and paint but who think, mistakenly, that they don't even have it in themselves... In other words, it's just a stepping stone to help them gain enough confidence in themselves to even get started in the first place.

Once they have finally plucked up the courage and got over that initial hurdle of thinking that they simply can't do it, then of course, they can start working on practicing and 'improving' their art, if photo realism is what they are aiming for. (For that, personally, I prefer to use a camera)!

But they have to get started in the first place - and that is what Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain really helped me with. I can honestly say that I wouldn't have had many a pleasurable hour with my drawing and pastels without it. I would have been dreaming to this day.

So, the main point of the book is that it is a mistake to think that people can be divided into those who can draw and paint and those who can't. Anyone can. Some people think they can't - and this book is for them, not you!

Thanks for your feedback on this article, anyway. This is always most welcome!

Link to comment
Share on other sites
  • Root Admin
On 6/6/2564 at 11 นาฬิกา 15 นาที, FunkyBoy said:

... but if you don't work on your weaknesses how ever will you develop? This entire thing has boggled my mind! 

You have to pluck up the courage to get started in the first place!!!

With these methods, people who think they "can't draw" will invariable find out that they can. No matter how bad they think they are at art, if they follow even some of the methods described in the book, they will find that they can achieve passable results that they will be quite pleased with.

And then they can take it from there...

Link to comment
Share on other sites
On 6/7/2021 at 4:05 PM, smb said:

You have to pluck up the courage to get started in the first place!!!

With these methods, people who think they "can't draw" will invariable find out that they can. No matter how bad they think they are at art, if they follow even some of the methods described in the book, they will find that they can achieve passable results that they will be quite pleased with.

And then they can take it from there...

I still don't think that's quite the right way to approach it regardless of if people think they can't draw, as you said the initial hurdle is having the courage to try and the fortitude to keep at it! I don't really understand how ignoring al the very basic rules under the pretence that they "Cant Draw" so instead go around the core fundamentals  will teach anyone anything but, look for short cuts and things to make learning through practice "easier". IT may just be I dont fully grasp this concept, being Autistic, I struggle with some specific ways of thinking.

I mean if it works for people then, good on em.

Link to comment
Share on other sites
  • Root Admin
2 hours ago, FunkyBoy said:

I mean if it works for people then, good on em.

Thanks for your input on this article. It's really good to have some feedback and discussion here on artfreaks.com. It can get lonely talking to oneself a lot of the time!

So thank you again - and please keep it up!

Link to comment
Share on other sites
  • Root Admin
On 13/6/2564 at 18 นาฬิกา 29 นาที, FunkyBoy said:

No worries, I'm more of a lurk and Post kinda guy than the social type but I try now and again :3

:thank-you-spinning:

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Please check-out the website usage terms at: Pages -> Terms of Service and Use