Children draw. Adults can draw too. Yes, you too : )
This young fellow is explaining his drawing. It’s about boats and hoses and fire.
Here’s a lovely quote from Howard Ikemoto, an art teacher from California who studied under Wayne Theibaud: "When my daughter was about seven years old, she asked me one day what I did at work. I told her I worked at the college - that my job was to teach people how to draw. She stared back at me, incredulous, and said, 'You mean they forget?' "
If you are shaking your head, saying “Not me. I can’t draw”, I’m going to assume you mean you have difficulty making a drawing of a person that looks like that person according to your logical/intellectual brain (the first type of drawing example in my recent blog post "Why Draw?". More about the other types of drawings in future posts).
Here are some tips to help you overcome obstacles and help you in your pursuit. I guarantee that you’ll surprise yourself.
- Fill a whole sketchbook with ‘secret’ drawings - don’t show them to anyone. No one gets to see them or judge them. Don’t judge them yourself until you’ve filled the book.
- Do a drawing a day for a month. Same thing as above: no showing them and no judging them until the month is done.
- Try a fun project like the Sketchbook Project organized by the Brooklyn Art Library
- Copy drawings you like, then branch out to your own subject matter
- Try different drawing tools: a soft pencil (4B or 6B), a Sharpie marker, paint and a brush, India ink and a Chinese calligraphy brush, a stick, ...
- Check out the book "Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain". This classic text by Betty Edwards has tried-and-true exercises to guide you in drawing realistic, representational images.
If you want to draw, the most important thing is to stop our learned self-judgement from getting in the way. It’s okay to have learned things about drawing, and to have some discernment. But if they are holding you back, move them to the back of the bus (so to speak) and let the brave, curious, creative part of your brain drive!