Updated: May 19
Artist, Writer & Illustrator
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The "I Can't Draw" Myth
It's often the same answer when you ask someone to draw for the first time
''I can't draw, I don't have the talent''.
Nothing could have been more untrue!
There is no doubt that we are all are born with different capacities which enable us to do certain things better than others, but it is equally true that you can develop any of your lower tier skills to match and even exceed those of natural talent.
Not convinced, huh? Well, read on and let see if I can get to you look at things differently.
How & Why Can You Too Learn to Draw?
The Seven Components of Art
Making a beautiful drawing or painting is nothing more than the effective application and understanding of what is called The Seven Components of Art: line, color, shape, shadow, value, form, space, and texture.
Those whom we readily identify as natural talent are simply people who are born with a more acute sense of understanding of these elements.
Don't freak out!
This is great news for you!
This means even if you have absolutely no artistic talent you can learn how to draw stunning art by getting familiar with how these elements combine and interact with one another.
In this article I'm going to only address one element: Line. In my opinion, learning this first is the easiest and fastest way to learning and improving your art.
Most of us begin drawing by using only lines. Remember the stick man, and the poor flattened fish you so proudly smack onto your art book in art class. They were very simple, but they employ the same strategy that all artists use to create the most complex work. They use lines!
Now just take a moment and think what makes the next drawing appealing? How did it come together with only lines of ink?
This drawing style is completely dependent on lines and the more you understand how to manipulate your lines, the better and more realistic your drawing can become.
In fact, you should really consider drawing with only lines. It will deepen your understanding of structure and challenge you, since you are working with very limited tools.
As you can see, every line in this drawing has a particular direction which is used to signal proportion, form and depth.
Take it as a general rule, straight lines or uniform lines stiffens your piece. What makes a drawing pop is the diversity and change in angles and line weight.
A perfect example of this can be clearly observed in the shape of the eye. If you ever tried to draw an eye, and most likely you did, you will see that not a single part of it is has a straight line.
Try to resist the temptation to use straight lines next time you draw and I assure you you will feel the difference.
Loosen up and let all your lines have an organic feel.
It is again the same principle when we talk about line weight - you need diversity.
Lines which are the same width from the start to finish are simply boring!
I am sure you know a little about that and you may very well have experimented with this principle, especially while drawing eyelashes.
But let me stop you here for a while and ask you this: Why does make eyelashes beautiful?
Exactly! They are appealing because they begin with a heavy stroke then end with a very thin one until it seem to disappear in space.
As human, we are naturally attracted to things that are designed in this way.
Just look at nature, look at the color of flowers, they are of deep saturated color at base and move further they are lighter, less saturated and for some reason more beautiful to our eyes.
The human eye loves this gradual and subtle from dark to light, from large to small, and so on.
So make use of this and implement it in your art!
Referring back again to the eye drawing above, notice how the lower lid of the eyes differ from the upper lid.
Next time you are drawing eyes, use a thinner line for the lower lid and you will notice an immediate difference.
This should be kept in mind while drawing every part of the eye, and in all your drawing for that matter. Just remember, straight lines, same angles, uniform line wight is bad for your drawing.
It will make your art ten folds better.
This concludes the first lesson of my Anyone Can Draw Series. Next lesson will continue to elaborate on lines and may touch upon values and how they convey form.
Until then, keep on drawing ,at least one drawing a day. Nothing beats practice.
Follow me on Instagram @a.a_graphics to get in touch with me and see my latest work.