What makes you think you can't draw? For artists of all kinds and creeds on Movellas.
a blog by Aldrin
We’ve all seen fantastic pieces of illustrations, drawings, paintings and other demiurgic designs that make us feel jealous. Jealous of how we say we can’t do what they do. Jealous of the fact we can’t wish up drawing skills like they have. Jealous that we may not have the talent that they do, and see it as a bit unfair on us. But hold your horses, what makes you think you can’t draw like they do? Everyone and anyone can draw is my thorough belief. Truly and honestly, I’ll take that to my grave. I can draw, you can draw, your friends can draw, my friends can draw, your parents can draw, and my parents can draw. Whether they or you choose to is what makes the difference. So buckle up ladies and gentlemen, I’m here to take you on a journey of saying “Yes you can.”
Now I’m a veteran at drawing wacky cartoons and original characters. Some of you may have seen my drawings on my Movellas, on my mumbles or on other websites like DeviantArt. I’ve been doing this since I was about 12, roughly. Little bit of a back story that is relevant, was that I was quite alone and bullied back at that age. I always spent my time in the library, and I used my lonely lunches to my advantage. I drew, and drew, and drew; creating characters, worlds and stories. Let me quote myself again: “I drew, and drew, and drew”. Never said I was good, I just drew. I didn’t draw for anyone else, just myself and my own little imagination. Practice, is what it boiled down to. Oh boy, if it’s one thing an artist will tell you about becoming better, is practice, practice, practice.
I practiced through my own ways. I would see something on TV or on the internet and go “Wow… That looks amazing! I wanna recreate that, now!” and grabbed a piece of paper and a pen, and drew it. Just did it, without hesitation. Or, there was the way of having the image in front of me, and copying it. Now that was either by looking at it, then back to my paper, then back to it again. That was freer, but the other way is by simply tracing. And hold on there, tracing is said to be cheating, but I disagree. To learn, it’s a brilliant way to understand the silhouette and details of a drawing. But it is bad when you start to say “Look what I drew! Aren’t I amazing? This was all me!” because my lovelies, that is called theft. If you’re being a bit brave, maybe when you’re tracing, add your own little features to it; practicing going away from holding the hand of the image, and let go to be by yourself. Then when you’re ready, walk away because you’re a proper artist. Think of the first time you rode a bike – did you use stabilizers? We all did. But do you still ride a bike with stabilizers? You won’t ride with them for the rest of your life. You will eventually grow out of them, and never use them again.
And always be brave to let go and draw new things with your art! Experiment! Trust me, when in GCSE art, I was told to always experiment, and I never did. I was afraid it would look stupid because I had never tried it! Until my final, 10 hour exam, I was designing a ruined skyscraper and wanted to show the scaffold. So I grabbed some card, put some black paint on it, and did sections of lines and it worked so well. I still experiment to this day! You think I know it all? No, no, no. I only recently learnt how to shade. Then I tampered with it, to see what it would look like if I blurred it a bit. And the 2nd to last drawing I did, I tried to add layers of shading. Always trying new things out, to see what works and what doesn’t. However guiltily, I still sometimes recluse in my shell and refuse to experiment when I know I should, but you’ll always get mishaps like that. Personally, it’s just because I am a perfectionist with my drawings, and am really scared sometimes just in case it goes wrong.
But – and this is a big but – my other guilty torture is giving up, unfortunately. Yes, if I feel sometimes my art looks like codswallop, I will delete it and then drop my pen in frustration. Don’t do what I do. Just don’t. Take a mistake or mishap, and learn from it. By giving up, you just bury the mistake and never touch it again. My officers at cadets say “We all learn from mistakes. And if you make the same mistake twice, you’re an idiot.” So take the opportunity to grow from the screw up, take it on the chin and see what you did wrong, and then correct it. Was it that the eyes were too far apart? Google the structure of the human face and see how far apart the eyes need to be. That’s the proper way to do it. I am still trying to get over my annoying habit, but it happens and I can’t change what has already happened.
Now for the fun part of this blog! I want you to practice for me, right now, right here. And a lot of you may be asking “But how do I practice, Aldrin? I can’t draw so how can I practice?” – Well I’ll get onto that, my friend. This relates back to what I said: What was the last thing that you saw, listened to, watched or even felt in yourself that made you go “That’s awesome!” and triggered your inspiration to create? Are you imagining it now? Good, now try to draw it. Get a pencil, or pen and some paper, and just draw it. Ah-ah! No excuses! No ‘ifs’ or ‘buts’! Just do it. You know what; I’ll do it along with you. So I’m imagining… hmm… Recently, I’ve gotten really into Star Wars: The Old Republic when the Sith Lords looked insanely awesome! Let me grab my tablet and pen… Okayyy so… Little bit there… Ooo, I’ll add a little of that, and that… I know, I’ll move that round there… Yes, lovely! I’m done. How did yours go? Look okay? Something you’re proud of? If yes, then brilliant! What did I tell you? If you like it and am proud of it, then that’s all that is needed. No need to worry whether people will think it’s good or not because if you like it, then that’s all that matters. Or were you not so proud of it? Or not even do it, or just gave up? I bet you’re still reading this before you gave it a try! Well… not to worry. Uncle Aldrin is here to help!
Well this is my piece. Have to say, it could do with a little more detail, but I’m pretty pleased with it. Now what do you think is wrong with yours? Body structure not correct? Well that’s easy to fix. You need a base structure. Look closely at my drawing.
You see those faint lines underneath her colouring? That’s my base layer of just shapes and lines. My framework. And come on, even I know you can do that. Anyone can; its only lines and 2D shapes. Think of it like a cake. You don’t start off with the icing, decorations and the cream in the centre, do you? No, because you don’t have the basic sponge cake first. See how that links together? Plus - let’s get some writing techniques as analogies in here – do you start writing without a plan? Of course not, because where do you start from there! It’s exactly the same principle.
Tell you what, go find a picture of a dragon. God I love dragons… Not just for the reason that they are awesome and breathe fire, but they inspire me and so many others to draw. Trust me, get a series of pictures of dragons, and just draw ‘em. You can trace them, which can be very good practice, but if you want to be able to draw all for yourself, let’s give you a hand.
Again, I’ll do it along with you. See that dragon there? I’ve broken that beast down into basic shapes, just by looking at it.
What I have now, is a framework I can go off. Circles for joints other basic line art. And I did that just by looking at it, not going off of it from my head. From head to paper is a masterful trick that I am still learning about today, but from eye to paper is something much easier. Then from there, still work from the image of the dragon if you like, but now the page is yours. Do what you like with it.
Write then boys and girls, I have done my best here to help you all out. From my own experiences and with a little helping hand of examples. Do go on the internet though for research. Research is also key when it comes to art, so look into the base structure of the human face or… or the dreaded, bane of my existence, hands… Ooooo how I loathe to draw them… But the take home message is that you can draw, with effort and determination. It is true people are born with the talent and can draw very well without much effort, but that by no means you can’t be just as good as them without some effort. And most of all, have fun. Drawing is fun, and it is meant to be.
Enjoy yourselves, and get creating!