How NOT to Draw Like a 3-Year-Old Jul 4, 2008 16:39:38 GMT -5
Post by Bozur on Jul 4, 2008 16:39:38 GMT -5
How NOT to Draw Like a 3-Year-Old
As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “If eyes were made for seeing, then beauty is its own excuse for being.” What’s the point, you may ask? Ugly drawings by adults don’t deserve to exist. You may not have the skill and vision of someone great like Leonardo Da Vinci but you’re not a three-year old boy as well. You can draw something that’s decent and nice to look at — just follow these simple tips.
1. Learn how to see.
Have you noticed how three-year-olds simplify everything in their drawings. They see a house and they draw it as a square with a triangle on top. They see a man and they draw him as a stick figure. Details are important in drawing. Take note of all the the things that make an object what it is.
For example, if you would like to draw a tree, you’ll initially come up with something like a brown cigar with broccoli on top. A tree is not as simple as that. Look closer. You’ll see that trees have gnarled barks. Look above you and you’ll notice that the trunk is not connected to the leaves themselves, but to the branches. Each branch separates into two or three more branches that then lead to the leaves. List and remember all of those details and try to draw a tree again and see the difference.
2. Learn how to move your hands.
This exercise is similar to the “wax in, wax out” move in the movie “The Karate Kid.” Your hand muscles may have formed stroke habits that are hard to get rid of. The only way to reduce these habits is to learn strokes anew. Get a pile of paper and start drawing. Fill a piece of paper with vertical, horizontal and diagonal straight lines by freehand — so don’t use rulers! Next, fill another piece of paper with curved and wavy lines. Then, move on to different shapes such as circles, spirals, triangles, and squares. Make random patterns and just about any stroke you can think of. Do this exercise for an hour each day until you can draw patterns really fast.
3. Combine your eyes and hands.
Now it’s time to combine your skills in two different areas. Pick a really simple subject, say a rose. Employing your new and improved observation skills, you notice that the rose is not just a red circle surrounded by small red arcs. It’s actually much more complex. Petals are laid on top of each other. Each petal also has a distinct shape.
Include the small details when drawing the petals. Move your hand accordingly and feel each stroke. Immerse yourself in the subject before you. Be one with the rose. You are the rose, and the rose is you. Finish the drawing and compare it with your drawing before. Your jaw will drop at the difference.
4. People are not as big as houses, and houses are not as big as dinosaurs.
Size matters in drawings. The reason why so many drawings suck is because artists don’t put enough effort in distinguishing what’s small and what’s big. When drawing, always observe the size of objects relative to each other. Ask yourself things like, “Are the eyeballs of that person really as big as his mouth and nose?” If the answer is no, erase those elements and draw them again, this time with the right size.
5. Draw from Real Life.
You can’t jump to cartooning without knowing the real world cartoons are based on. Before you start copying your favorite cartoon character, practice drawing actual people, like your mom or your dad, or that hot blonde on the magazine cover. Your drawing doesn’t need to be perfect. What’s important here is that you learn the real body parts cartoon figures are based on. Do a real life sketch every day and you’ll surely get better with all the different styles of drawing simply because you’re unconsciously memorizing the parts of the human body.
6. Finish a Drawing You Started.
Bad artists start projects that they fail to finish. They are either too lazy, uninspired, or both. If you don’t finish what you have started, your skills will not advance and you’ll forever be trapped in your three-year-old scrawls. Finish a drawing whatever happens. Promise yourself that if you don’t finish a drawing, you’ll have to make two tomorrow. That way, you’ll always be motivated to finish what you’ve started.
If following these guidelines don’t improve your drawing skills within a year, you can always dabble in naïve art. That’s art for children, by the way.