I've decided to share all of my beginner drawings, to show you what I created right from the very first moment I decided to teach myself to draw.
All illustrations on this website pretty much document my progress from the start but I've never thought to show my actual practice pages. I think sometimes it helps to see what other like-minded people do, just to compare with what you're doing.
First of all, it was my 'mental drawing' habit that prompted me to investigate what I could achieve on paper so that is how my wonderful adventure began.
I really had no idea how or where to start so I contented myself by copying all the most basic outline images that I could find. Like most of us, I wanted to draw people so that is where I placed a lot of attention, completely oblivious to the fact that I had chosen a fairly complex subject.
Then my Mum gave me a few of her drawing books so I happily flipped through them, looking for outline drawings and anything that looked easy enough to copy. Notice I say "flipped"? I am embarrassed to say this means I did not read a single word in any book except directions for the exercises provided.
I was too excited to settle down to anything, I just wanted to draw! My results were blowing my mind because I had never drawn anything ever before and suddenly I had created some pretty impressive (to me) images on paper.
One of the books from Mum was called Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards. I'm sure you've heard of it before, it's very popular with beginner artists and for good reason.
A particular exercise in that book was to draw what I saw as I looked down at my foot. I remember being completely amazed with the results afterwards. That's strange, I always thought people were naturally gifted at birth with artistic talent, so every exercise was breaking down all my false preconceptions.
** Disclaimer: I get a small commission if you decide to buy via my links but please know it's at no extra cost to you. **
Here's a book that finally dispels the mystery of sketching!
... it only takes a little instruction
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A terrific video course with corresponding ebooks (Great Value!)...
***Sidebar: Even though this book got the same treatment as all the others where I skimmed pages to get to the exercises, I have since read the book from cover to cover several times as well as practicing along the way. It's a good investment that you'd never regret.***
Whenever I came upon something that I didn't like or couldn't do successfully, I put that book aside and immediately started another crusade with the next one. This isn't anything I recommend you do but I admit it did help keep my enthusiasm on an upward trend.
Like a kid in a lolly shop, maybe it wasn't such a good idea to be given so many goodies (books) at once!
This also applies to selecting drawing supplies -- it doesn't help us to have a choice because it stalls the whole process. Ok, so that was one lesson I soon learned.
It wasn't long before I also realized that I had to overcome my impatience if I ever wanted to draw properly (lesson 2, you might say).
Gradually, I became aware that most books had a common theme that consisted of exercises for practicing lines and shapes. At first, I went straight past them because I thought I knew how to draw lines and shapes -- in my ignorance I wondered who needs to do that?
Then I bought the ABC Learn To Draw book via the Internet and I absolutely loved it. Author Jenny has a unique way of teaching that makes practice fun.
This image shows one of my practice pages from the ABC book.
I enjoyed going through the whole book. It opened my eyes to the importance of practicing because I could clearly see my own progress and improvement with each and every page (let's make that lesson 3!). I impressed myself by completing the whole book -- it was perfect for me - and I really advanced rapidly after that.
My family kindly gave me gifts of drawing books in the years that followed and that gave me a great opportunity to find an artist that I liked and understood. I really responded well to Barrington Barber books and I now proudly own most of them.
My imitation of an example in a Barrington Barber drawing book.
To this day, I still love simple line drawings because I know they have the ability to open up a new world for anyone who has an inkling to draw.
It's like a miracle to see a drawing emerge and while I have produced some shockers, there are many more successes and I've never lost the thrill of this art.
Nothing would please me more than to see you give it a chance because it's true that everyone can draw, it only takes a little effort on your part. What's more, you can teach yourself, there is no need to invest mega dollars on this pleasure.
I am a self-confessed drawing book addict just because I love everything about this subject and I can't seem to get enough. If I learn one new technique out of a $30 book, I think it was a good investment! Gems are found by digging so you only need to start now to find the path you were meant to take.
Based on my own experience, I have now written some Kindle books for beginners to help you draw simple subjects (without spending much money). These are great to get you going and progressing at your own pace. Here are the links to those books if you are interested...
If you don't have a Kindle, you are able to download a free Kindle reader for PC, Macs or other devices here.
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