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!
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!
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