I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember but sporadically – until a few years ago, that is. It can be incredibly frustrating and disheartening to try to draw what you see only for the results to fall short of recognizable. I get it, because I’ve lived it.
It wasn’t until I took a nature illustration course a few years ago that I just pushed through and realized something.
Drawing is not a gift, It’s a Skill
There was a time in the history of art where artists were not born, they were apprenticed. Art was a craft. Michaelangelo was considered a craftsman. He learned from a Master Craftsman. Then he was commissioned to use his skills to craft some of the greatest art in the world.
But he wasn’t born an artist, he apprenticed and learned a skill.
In the late 19th century, when The Grand Tour became the fashion, travelers abroad would document their journey in sketchbooks.
You can learn to draw what you see as well. You just need to believe in yourself first, and keep believing when you hate everything you produce.
Belief and self-confidence
I think fake-it-’til-you-make it is a good outlook to have when learning to draw. This isn’t brain surgery. If your drawing doesn’t work out, you definitely get a do-over. So why not just believe you’ll get the hang of it, and keep at it until you do?
The beauty of this approach is that I can guarantee your confidence with grow with each success. This in turn strengthens your belief that you can learn this skill, which will fortify you when a drawing doesn’t turn out as you hoped.
My Number one Learning-to-Draw Tip
Just do it.
Yeah, that’s it. I mean sure get some books, take a free workshop (hint, hint – see below), take a class – in a nutshell, seek guidance. But all the guidance in the world isn’t going to help you draw if you don’t actually do it.
Sure, some of your drawings aren’t going to work out, but here’s a pro-tip for you. Even the most professional, skilled, educated artist has work that didn’t work out. We usually hide it in a drawer, shred it for packing material or paint over it. We learn from it, and then we move on.
Embrace the activity of drawing. Learn from each attempt and move on to the next.
Remember above when I wrote that I took a nature illustration course? Well, that course not only was the impetus to a regular drawing practice. It changed the way I interact with nature.
I’m never without my field kit when I take a walk – a journal, a mechanical pencil and my curiosity. Unlike taking a photo with my phone, taking the time to draw what I see, make notes, ask questions and ponder the greater context of the natural world has given me a deeper appreciation for my environment.
It’s also fantastic to go through my old journals, remembering that time I walked the rocky beach on the south side of Mount Desert Island and found a shell. Or that morning I walked out my front door and found seed pods all over my car.
come to my free workshop
But I get it. Drawing can be stressful if you deem your effort unsuccessful, so on November 27, 2020 at 7pm ET, I’m hosting a free drawing workshop. It’s specifically for those who want to draw, but maybe struggle a bit. Or perhaps you’ve always thought you can’t draw but really want to – here’s your chance. I’m going to focus on a few techniques that turned it all around for me, and that you’ll be able to use to start and/or develop your own practice.Learn More & Register For The Free Workshop