Talent Scholarships 300x226 The Beginners Drawing Pep Talk

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”Drawing is basic to the whole understanding of the communication of visual information and is of fundamental importance to artists and designers. It should, I suggest, play an important part in the education of all those whose work demands a degree of visual sensitivity.” – Ian Simpson

Drawing is the basis of all visual communication. It is the closest thing to pure thought that exists. Even the written word is based on drawing. Remember that dreaded yellow and blue ruled paper used to teach the alphabet? Endless hours spent copying the letters: ”Aa”, ”Bb”, ”Cc”, etc.? In those first strokes with your pencil you were drawing the letter ”A”. The conclusion is that if you can write, you can draw. Drawing is a skill that can be learned by anyone with desire, patience, and discipline.

Then and Now, Where Did It All Go?

You’re probably asking youself, ”Well, if drawing is so natural and I can write, why is it hard for me to draw? Why am I not getting it. What am I doing wrong?” You ‘re not the only one with these questions. There are many people out there that say expressions like, ”I can’t draw a stick figure” or ”I can’t draw a straight line without a ruler.” In your defense, even the most skilled artist would have difficulty drawing a perfectly straight line without a ruler so why should you be any different? The reason why many adults become easily frustrated with drawing is that, as an adult, they are approaching a task they once did successfully as a child.

The answer lies in judgement. As a child, there was little or no judgement to what you drew. You just drew! There wasn’t a little critic perched on your shoulder saying, ”You can’t draw. This is too hard, I can’t do this art stuff! Why am I doing this anyway?” Now, as an adult with much more life experience that includes opinions, values, judgements, etc. you are trying to start where you left off, which means drawing as a child. Drawing is not like ring a bike. Without constant practice, your skill in drawing can quickly diminish. Think of the last time you picked up a pencil to draw. Five, ten, fifteen years? It’s not entirely your fault though. Think of the pressures you may have had as a child going through grade school. Did you ever get yelled at by a teacher for doodling in the margins of your paper? Did your parents ask you to stop that ”drawing nonsense” and direct your energy toward something that would make some real money to put food on the table? Educational, social, economic, and family influences have a huge impact on a child’s choice to stop the pursuit of drawing. Is this wrong? In some ways, yes. Drawing is a spacial, intuitive, and non-verbal brain activity that is used in many jobs today. Everyone from engineers, designers, archietects, typographers, and cartographers use similar spatial and non-verbal brain functions in their day-to-day problem solving. Remember that drawing is a valuable, and also rare skill to have.


”You have to have a high conception, not of what you are doing, but of what you may do one day; without that, there’s no point in working.” – Edgar Degas (19th Century, French Artist)

In the above quote Degas is talking about desire. Desire is the key to accomplishing the ”difficult” task of drawing. Without desire, you lessen your chances of becoming successful. Through desire comes practice and through practice comes skill. Vincent Van Gogh is an excellent example of an artist with desire. At the age of 26, Van Gogh taught himself how to draw and paint. Over an expanse of ten years he created over 800 paintings and thousands of drawings. During the last 70 days of his life, Van Gogh produced 70 paintings and 40 drawings! Now that’s desire!

We are not asking you to become a Van Gogh or a Degas and produce a zillion drawings in one week. What we are asking you to do is to try. If you don’t try, how do you know if you’ll like drawing or can even do it at all? Things may seem difficult and even awkward at first, but in time, and after many hours of practice, it’ll come to you. You see, art has a snowball-like effect. The more you practice it, the more involved you become in it and the more you’ll want to do it. You have to have a the desire to push through the difficult drawings and make progress. The key is to constantly practice. Practice for you has to be interesting and fun in order for you to continue with it. Be creative when making excericises so that they will challenge you and not bore you.


There is a terrible rumor going around that the ability to draw is a talent you’re born with. This is a lie. ”Talent,” when it comes to drawing, is non-existent. Talent can be paralleled with ”pursued interest.” Take, for example, someone who likes to play pool. Obviously we’re not born with a talent for playing pool yet some people are better pool players than others. Why is this true? Because playing pool became a pursued interest for those particular people at some point in their lives which led them to want to play a better game of pool. With pursued interest comes practice and with practice comes skill, not ”talent.” Why should drawing be any different?

Seeing is Believing

The 20th century artist Henri Matisse, when asked if he looked at an apple differently when painting it than when eating it replied, ”No.” Looking and seeing are two different things. In Matisse’s case, he saw the world through artist’s eyes and everything was a painting to him. We look at billions of images every day, but do we really see them? Have you ever stopped to see how many wrinkes are in your hand? How intricate the bark is on a tree? How rough the surface of an orange is? These small, but often overlooked details, are what realistic drawing is based on. In order to draw realistically, you must be able to see realistically.

Symbolism vs. Reality

In terms of looking, we learn to look at things in words. We formulate a name for something; visually ”place a label on it”; then pack it away in memory as a symbol to recall when we need it. Since early childhood, we have perceived reality in this manner. When we drew a face, we pulled out our ready-made symbol for an eye and placed it in its proper, or not so proper position on the paper. This ready-made symbol system is based on verbal ”naming”. We see a face, we immediately name that feature of the face as an ”eye”, then begin to draw the symbol that means ”eye”. We are convinced that what we drew is, without question, an ”eye.” There’s no problem with this system, in fact, it is a natural function of the human brain. Our brains are bombarded with incoming information every second. In order to make sense of this information, it screens out what is not necessary so we can focus our thinking. Our ready-made symbol system plays a huge role in our brain’s screening process and its ability to function effectively.

However, when it comes to realistic drawing, our screening process totally opposes the type of perception we are trying to achieve. Our ready-made symbol system interferes when it comes to realistic drawing. Realistic drawing requires that you look at subjects for long periods of time to perceive details; a function our screening process will not allow. There are exercises that you can do to overcome the brain’s natural screening process and get into the correct brain ”mode” to draw. Some of these exercises are blind contour, modified contour, gesture, and upside-down drawing. We’ll talk more in depth about these exercises later.

Practice, Practice, Practice, and More Practice!

Practice is essential in drawing, or any kind of area where skill is required. Did Michael Jordan become a great basketball player without practice? No way! To become good at drawing you MUST practice. Try to make practice enjoyable, yet challenging. Formulate a goal that is obtainable. Don’t try to paint the Mona Lisa the first time you pick up a paint brush. If you make a goal that you cannot possibly reach you will become frustrated and lose interest. Take baby steps!

A good goal to begin with is to do at least one drawing every day. Start out by drawing objects that follow the basic forms. A cup, bowl, book, or bottle make great beginning subjects. Later, when your skill develops, try more difficult subjects like portraits, landscapes, and complex still lifes. Remember to be patient and don’t become discouraged if you’re not successful at first. Every artist in history had to start somewhere. And I’ll bet that most had awkward drawings at first. Remember, there is nothing wrong with starting over. In the realm of drawing the mistakes are as valuable as the successful drawings. You learn from your mistakes and move on.

Paper is cheap. What you put on each piece of paper is priceless. Be patient and skill will come in time.


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Consistensi in training is Basically the art of learning good habits! We Consistent exercise every day, to remind us how to act in Certain situations. No more dificult Than the habit of peeling an egg at breakfast. Talent just do not exist in that equation.