T Nation

Learninig to Draw

I have always been interested in learning to draw. I have finally decided to really try and learn. I am also interested in other mediums like pastels. So to all you artists, I would like to ask if it is needed or better to know how to draw in pencil before getting into something like pastels.

This is where Iron Dwarf chimes in…

being able to draw in pencil is very important. go to an art store and pick some 4H pencils, rubber erasers and a shitload a paper and get on it. lessons help a ton. pastels are basically chalk with a more “waxy” texture. try shit out before you decide its your thing cause i thought id like pastel until i realized i hated it. also, painting is alot more fun than it looks… take it from an art student with lots of experience (and medals, lol)

o yeah and are you going for photorealism or some anime shit? cause you can learn animation in 5 min but photorealism could take a lifetime

No none of that cartoon/manga stuff. I have always been into art and I prefer the look of oil’s but the materials is much more expensive. I have seen videos of people using pastels and they usually start off with some rough outline using pencil with no detail, so I was wondering if really knowing how to draw was necessary or would it be better to just jump into using something like pastels or oils. Perhaps it matters on how real you want your work to look?

IMO, either you have it or you don’t. With natural ability, all you need is practice. Pencil is a good place to start. With faces, I would recommend tracing the basic features so that you can focus on the details. It’s discouraging at first to do a very detailed portrait and have it look “off” because the nose is a bit too long. Now alongside this you should practice sketching basic features free-hand, and then superimposing your sketch on the original to see how it matches up.

I draw a lot…My books are full of drawings…I’ve started oil painting a few months ago…pretty nice I love it…

I drew this in my Albanian Language book…The teacher caught me and got very pissed off…LMAO

This is how I taught myself to draw. I got a copy of “The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” by Betty Edwards. You can probably find a used one for about $10. Ignore the pseudoscience about the left brain and right brain and just do the exercises in it. I drew like a 5 year old, but after going through that book I could sketch a nice portrait of someone. After finishing that book I wanted to stretch my artistic ability even further, so I went through all the exercises in “The Natural Way to Draw” by Nicolaides. If you already have some artistic talent, you may want to skip Edwards and go straight to Nicolaides. Betty Edwards “borrows” heavily from Nicolaides.

Some artists don’t like these books because they feel they’re too structured and stifle your creativity, but then again most artists can’t remember a time when they didn’t know how to draw. They don’t know what it’s like to start from zero. This is how I did it. I don’t know if it’s the best way, but it definitely worked for me. Don’t get me wrong, neither one of these books are some kind of magic bullet. You’re not going to learn how to draw overnight. It still takes a lot of hard work. I would recommend learning how to draw with a pencil first. Good luck.

If you want to practice drawing with pencils and/or pastels, Ill give you a good tip.

Buy a newapaper, take one sheet and roll it until you have a ball of paper. Then draw it, try to make it exaclty as it is, with shadows and all. Do that with the rest of the newspaper sheets. If you do this 2-3 times a week you will get your skillz up.

Good luck :slight_smile:

I suck at drawing but when I take the time to learn to draw something… like an eye which I spent a couple of days practicing drawing I ended up with something I was very happy with.

The only advice I could give for learning to draw is to draw and draw and draw and then go draw some more.

I took an animation class and we had to literally draw thousands of frames to make movies…Ive never drawn better in my life. The more you draw the better you’ll become. Draw every chance you get, even if its just doodles.

I make a living as an artist. It’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was very young. I began drawing by copying Disney characters. Later I developed my own style, and I drew obsessively to the point where I could draw almost anything from my head.
You can teach someone the mechanics of drawing, but you can’t make an artist out of someone who hasn’t the inclination to become one. That said, if you want to learn the basics for the sheer enjoyment of drawing, then there are many books on the subject. A good one which “forces” the student into the proper “zone” would be “Drawing On The Right Side OF The Brain”.

Keeping a sketchbook is a good idea. Like some of the previous recommendations here, draw constantly. Begin with a simple egg drawing under a single light source. Yes, you can use several pencil hardnesses, but I always prescribe a simple, single #2 HB. This will force you to learn to work with a controlled and light stroke while trying to capture all the subtle gradients.

[quote]Iron Dwarf wrote:
You can teach someone the mechanics of drawing, but you can’t make an artist out of someone who hasn’t the inclination to become one.[/quote]


Imho the best discipline for improvement at drawing, hands down, is life drawing.
12-14 hrs a week of it, when I studied fine art, improved my draughtsmanship and observational skills like nothing else.
It makes a great platform for informing your painting or pastel work or any other medium or discipline.

You may want to also Learninig to spell.
Practice makes perfect.

[quote]Mikaj wrote:
You also may wish to Learn to spell.
Practice makes perfect.[/quote]

There you go, fixed it for you.

You may want to also Learninig to frame your thoughts into coherent english sentences.