Tag Archives | Sketchbooks

Learn to Draw – In easy steps – To impress your friends!

Would you like to learn how to improve your drawing skills?

Shoppers and visitors in Westgate Canterbury

Shoppers and visitors in Westgate Canterbury

I taught myself how to draw, many years ago after realising that my paintings were not improving.

You see, – I had no real urge to draw but just wanted to paint and I was in a hurry!

Does this ring a bell with you?  So I got myself a sketchbook and some pencils and did a little each day, but no more than one and a half hours a week. and it cost me less than £5 to get started.

Looking back now and seeing how popular my paintings have become, I thought it was time to pass on my knowledge so I began to teach small groups at a time, and to help people struggling with various local art projects.

As a result, I produced a FREE document,  “MY 10 TOP TIPS – Learning to Draw”

Have you read it? It is designed to help get you started in the right direction and to get in the habit of drawing ‘little and often’. exactly how I learned. If you complete the box below or in the right column, I’ll send you the link to print off a copy. You will also receive future news about this subject and details of an on line course and You Tube Videos which are planned and coming shortly.

A page from my sketchbook

A page from my sketchbook

Regular readers will wonder where I’ve been, since I last wrote in mid October, Sorry! At least you know I won’t bombard you with too many updates, and I’m happy to hear your views about learning to draw and paint.

Items from the kitchen drawer make good subjects for quick 5 – 10 minute sketches, I drew these in pen and shaded them with a marker pen. Pro Tip: Put a date on your sketchbooks, so you can see your progress over a period of time.

 

Sketching – Why drawing skills are important!

A house built on firm foundations, will last longer and be safer than one with no foundations. Likewise, “drawing is the basis of art. A bad painter cannot draw. But one who draws well can always paint”. A quote from A Gorky.

When I got back into the art world from a career in Finance in the City, I was fifty years of age! and I just wanted to take up painting after a gap of about thirty years, so I was in a hurry! After all, “how hard can it be”? to quote a favourite Jeremy Clarkson phrase.

Portrait of Lucien Freud in pencil, from his self portrait.

Lucien Freud from his self portrait drawn in pencil.

I really didn’t want to bother with all that drawing stuff, I just wanted to get on and paint. So that’s what I did, for a few months. I thought – I’m getting on a bit and need to learn fast, if I’m to reach a decent standard. Years before, I had been very involved in musical performance and knew that instrumentalists take about five years, of regular lessons and daily practise to reach a standard acceptable to play with an orchestra. So five years was my target. Oh Boy! How misguided was that. After those first few months, I realised that my lack of drawing skills was letting me down, so I bought some sketch books and started filling them up. I started to enjoy sketching, it wasn’t as boring as I had imagined and soon I was sketching regularly, more than I was painting. In fact, when I look back through the ‘learning pile’, do you have one of those? I realise that I’ve made approx. three sketches for every painting. So my first five year target, came and went and I was still alive and enjoying sketching and painting regularly. It took me a further five years and growing enthusiasm to reach a decent standard of work, which started to sell at exhibitions. Along the way, I’ve met so many people who gave up or changed to a simpler medium, and that only made me more determined to carry on and to attempt difficult subjects. Nowadays my attitude is: If it’s easy – I’ll let someone else do it! If it’s difficult, It’s worth me persevering at it.

A Victorian Conservatory in pen and White Ink

A drawing in pen and white ink – Victorian Conservatory c 1894

After many years that stubborn determination is starting to pay rewards and I am enjoying making art, even more than I ever imagined.

Salvador Dali said about drawing. “Drawing is the honesty of the art. There is no possibility of cheating. It is either good or bad”

Shown here, is a pencil sketch of Lucien Freud, the artist, from a photograph of his own self portrait in oils. I found it helpful to work from photos of old master drawings, found in old auction house catalogues and the antiques trade newspaper. Nowadays, the internet has almost endless quantities of copyright free images to work from. My other sketch here, was drawn in white ink on dark green paper, all freehand, from photos I had taken at Forest Hill in South London. Unlike my sketch book sketches, this is a finished work, and is now in my shop / gallery. Click on the photo if you would like to see more details.

If you’ve enjoyed this article, please add your comments below or sign up for my newsletter in your inbox, Till next time! Keep sketching.